10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle For Free

10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle For Free

**This article was originally published by Matraea Mercantile

With little kids come big messes.

When people become new parents they learn how quickly extra waste accumulates, mountains of outgrown clothes form and discarded toys abound. I remember thinking that I would never catch up with the overwhelming pile of baby clothes that no longer fit and the loud battery-operated toys from well-meaning grandparents that made my ears ring and startled the baby. At the time, I thought I was creating more waste for the landfill and my conscience was eating me alive, I wish I had known then about Island Return It’s recycling programs.

Surprising Items That Can Be Recycled

1)      Electronic Toys. When Elmo finally stops screaming for tickles don’t toss him in the trash, bring him down to your local Island Return It Recycling Centre and drop him off. The Electronic Toy Recycling Program is the first of its kind in North America and targets the eventual diversion of approximately two million electronic toys per year.

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2)      Breast Pumps. Breast pumps fall under the small appliance category and are completely recyclable, wires and all. Also in this category are products like wipe warmers, bottle sanitizers, baby monitors and electronic feeding diaries.

3)      Light Bulbs. All light bulbs are completely recyclable as are the fixtures they were attached to. This includes LEDs, CFLs, and incandescent bulbs and even burnt out Christmas lights.

4)      Coffee Makers. If you replace your old coffee maker this holiday season (or toaster, or microwave etc.) let us responsibly recycle it for you.

5)      Alarm Clocks. You don’t need your alarm clock anymore, you have a teeny tiny human one now and believe me this one does not have a snooze button!

6)      Books. At the Duncan and Esquimalt depots we have book bins where you can discard used books by ensuring their re-use or recycling. This is a critical difference you can make in protecting the environment.

7)      Batteries. With kids in the house you are bound to use more batteries than you ever imagined. It seems like everything baby-related is powered by batteries but they can be really corrosive and toxic in landfills. The most commonly recycled batteries are those used to power cordless tools, mobile and cordless phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, camcorders, gaming devices, toys, flashlights, other portable electronics and hearing aids. Any small household batteries can be recycled at no charge.

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8)      Juice Boxes and Juice Pouches. You may not have realized it but when you bought those juice boxes you paid a deposit. That means that when you return them you get that $0.05 back!

9)      Cell Phones and iPods. If you upgraded to a new phone or dropped and smashed the old one you can bring it in for free recycling, this includes the batteries and the chargers too.  We work with certified processing facilities in Canada where they dismantle the products safely.

10)   Paint and Paint Products. Little known fact: latex paint can be recycled into new paint while oil-based paints and flammable liquids can be used as alternative fuels. To return products like these the lid must be securely fastened and the original label intact and readable. Do not combine leftover paints with each other or with oils, solvents or other products and take care because these products can be extremely dangerous so please use extra care when handling them. In Duncan, Campbell River and Sidney ask about our free paint exchange program where you are welcome to take what you need from our paint rack.

If you have any questions about our recycling programs please visit our website or join us on our Facebook page or Google Plus page where we will be happy to answer you.

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