Trash it, or Recycle It? Being a Responsible Disposer in 2017

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No matter which city you’re living in, the local landfill would prefer to have as little as possible brought to its doorstep when it comes to waste material. Anything that can be recycled really should be, as keeping municipal waste down to a minimum is something every city should be striving for.

So the question becomes not only what are the best ways to dispose of waste material responsibly, but also what less-than-obvious materials can be recycled rather than thrown away? Let’s have a look at some of them and make you a little bit better informed about waste materials that AREN’T necessarily trash.

  1. Frozen Food Boxes

Some are recyclable, others are not and will go into the trash. Some freezer containers have a special polyethylene coating to keep out moisture, and this synthetic layer can spoil an entire group of recyclables. As always, the easiest and most reliable way to reference this is to check for the recyclable icon on the bottom of the package. Some cities, however, do now allow for frozen food boxes, so check with your local municipality before the next pick up.

Keep in mind the possibility of using these boxes as shipping packaging or for smaller Christmas gifts, a much more eco-friendly choice and a nice continuance of the working life for these containers!

  1. Mattresses

They’re big, they’re bulky – and they’re 100% recyclable all over. As beds have become much more comfy, they’ve become increasingly difficult to be disposed of in landfills. This is due to the resiliency of memory foam and box springs making them incredibly difficult to compress in landfills, with each being able to take up somewhere in the vicinity 40 cubic feet.

Recycling your old mattress is the smart and responsible course of action. Most municipalities will have one or more designated mattress recycling centers, and you can often find out where they are quite easily with a quick call to the city.

  1. Batteries

Here’s a big one, and one of the most debated materials when it comes to recycling or trashing them. While rechargeable batteries are a much better choice than disposable ones for obvious reasons, those conventional one-use batteries are still going to be the norm for most of us and as such we should know how to responsibly dispose of them.

Fortunately, batteries are much less of the ecological transgressors they were in decades past. The single-use shells you put in your remote are now free of harmful, heavy metals and can safely go in the trash. However, the following tips are advisable because there are still harmful elements to the construction of batteries.

  • Only throw away in small quantities and only if toxin-free.
  • Cover battery ends in masking tape and group multiple batteries in 1 bag
  • Indicate contents of bag as ‘batteries’ if bag material is not transparent
  1. Wine Corks

Here’s one you probably wouldn’t have expected to see on the list. Let’s start by mentioning that genuine cork is becoming a scarce commodity around the world. Most wine corks up until the turn of the century were made from real cork – and real cork is 100% recyclable.

More common nowadays is plastic cork. Dispose of plastic wine corks with your standard plastics, but never put them in the trash. There’s a LOT of wine consumed in Canada every year, and the millions+ of wine bottles make for a massive amount of wine corks that we’d rather not see being directed into landfills.

Another use? They make great vintage fishing floats!

  1. Cooking Oil

Last but not least is another one that’s commonly used in households right across the country. There are a couple of ways to dispose of used cooking oil, but pouring it down the drain is a no-no, ALL THE TIME. Oil wreaks havoc on city sewers and just a small amount of grease from several dwellings is enough to lead to blockages. Just don’t do it, for everyone’s sake

Most municipalities across the country will have designated recycling centers for cooking oil. Make use of them, because in many cases the oil is not simply remediated for disposal. It’s often used to make biofuel to power city buses and trains and other energy applications. Good stuff indeed!

One last important thing to keep in mind is that cooking oil is often good to be used for longer than you’d think. Strain and store the oil and then reuse it next time you cook, but give it a quick ‘smell test’ before to make sure it hasn’t gone bad.

Here at Load n’ Lift, we’re Trenton and Colborne’s premiere trash bin disposal service. While we take pride in providing a valuable service, we understand the need for us all to be more responsible with creating trash and recycling. Hopefully this helps you be better informed in that regard!

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