Left to right: used batteries, silica desiccant gel packets, used Brita filters (Whole Foods recycles them), bottle caps, Bread bag closers, plastic bottle caps, expired medication, light bulbs, wire hangers (my dry cleaner takes these), wine corks, and Styrofoam cups and containers (a local grocer takes these). It sounds like a lot of stuff, but as you can see, it doesn't take much space. I could even move it to the garage if it gets out of hand. Hey! Not a bad idea.
Maybe I have gotten a bit out of control, but ever since I found out that there are places like Terracycle taking wine corks and granola bar wrappers, I have started to collect all sorts of things.
An Example of what Terracyle Does with Corks
Even so, much of this stuff definitely does not belong in the landfill. Do I want expired medications leaching into our groundwater? No! Light bulbs have dangerous elements inside, as well as desiccants and batteries. So why not collect anything that I get large amounts of, until I take a trip to the recycling drop off.
You may be wondering why I'm not collecting plastic bags. Well, first of all I have a major collection of reusable bags, so I rarely get any plastic bags at the grocery or other stores. I keep a Chico Bag or two in my purse all the time, so whenever I'm shopping, I'm prepared.
Beyond that, all plastic bags, such as the newspaper bag, get used for doggie....well, you know. At least they are used for something purposeful. It saves me buying so many special poop bags. I always buy the corn starch ones that are biodegradable. I'm hoping to try the new Flushpuppies soon. They are flushable; cool, huh? They just dissolve in the water.
I'm collecting something else. Electronics. The rainy season has begun here in Florida, which means thunder storms every afternoon. Last year and the year before, we blew out 2 DVD players, a stereo boom box, 2 sets of wireless phones, an answering machine and more. You get the picture. There is definitely a cost to living in Sunny Florida!
I've also saved a couple of keyboards and monitors from previous computers, just in case, but I guess it is time to give them up, as well. They're not the flat screens, so probably no one would want them. However, it did occur to me to call the local elementary school to offer them there first. If they don't want them, they'll go with me to the special place at the landfill where potentially toxic items go. I like to think of it as electronic heaven.
I've read that they take the dangerous components out of the electronic stuff and that goes into special containment for toxic materials. Hopefully the medications will go there too.
I have written previous posts with more details about a few of these items. Here are the links to those posts, if you'd like the full scoop:
- Silica Desiccant Gel: Safe or Toxic?
- Plastics Recycling Efforts Continue with Brita Filters
- A Greener Shade of Dry Cleaning
If I really want to get organized in snazzy way, I could pull a Martha Stewart and gear up with something like this: