More than three-quarters of the waste in our trash bins have no place there. Better sorted, they could be recovered through recycling. To make facilitate recycling at home, how can we recycle efficiently and reduce the weight of our waste on the planet?
Recycle Your Clothes
Only 38% of our used clothing and shoes are recycled, which represents 3.6 kg per inhabitant per year. However, 99.6% of the textiles and shoes collected are recyclable. More than half are reused in second-hand circuits, and the rest, once deliberated or frayed, is used for the manufacture of new textiles or for industrial applications. You can drop off your old clothes, as well as household linen, at a collection point. There are over 45,000 of them. Please note that the items deposited must not be soiled and or damp as they risk damaging the other products in the collection trash bin.
What to Do with the Batteries?
Recycling professionals believe that a very large deposit is stored in our drawers. This constitutes a lesser evil. Whether rechargeable or not, batteries contain many polluting compounds that are dangerous for the environment lead, acid, lithium, mercury. It is better to avoid throwing them in the trash. You can take them to a recycling center or, even simpler, to any store that offers them for sale. They provide their customers with a collection trash bin, usually next to the ampoule bin. Some companies also offer them to their employees. Used car batteries obey the same rules: either at a recycling center or at a garage or an auto center.
Sort Used Bulbs
Even with a much longer lifespan than incandescent models, CFLs or LEDs are not forever. They must be the subject of a specific collection because they also contain hazardous waste and are partly recyclable. Up to 93% for compact fluorescent bulbs, less for LEDs. Like batteries, you can drop them off at a recycling center, or in the dedicated container in the store. The glass from the lamp will be recycled, the metals in the base will be returned to the metal sector, and the mercury from the compact fluorescent models will be recovered for reuse.
Tip: If you break a lamp of this type, be aware that it contains 0.005% mercury, mixed with the gas contained in the tube. Ventilate the room well, pick up the pieces with a broom and not a vacuum cleaner to avoid spraying mercury dust into the ambient air, and then put everything in a closed bag before placing it in a collection trash can.
Drop off Medications at The Pharmacy
Potentially dangerous for the environment if they are thrown into wastewater, they are subject to a specific disposal process. Whether they are expired or not, just bring them back to the pharmacy. Ditto for expired CT images, and x-rays, which contain silver salts. Healthcare waste at risk of infection, such as syringes, injector pens, lancets, and other piercing objects used by people taking care of themselves, must be collected in specific yellow boxes that pharmacists give free to patients on self-treatment.
In a Recycling Center or in a Store
What to do with furniture, used oil, tires, and construction rubble? You can also bring green waste mowing and hedge trimmings, and metal objects. Sorting is guided there, most often by means of pictograms affixed to the various containers. Failing that, a large number of municipalities offer a bulky items collection service, at home or at collection points. Ask at the town hall. Printer ink cartridges, small appliances, and electronic devices can also be dropped off on a one-for-one basis: one product purchased, one product collected.
Note: Depending on the region or city, access to a recycling center may be subject to the presentation of a smart card issued by the town hall, or even proof of address. Find out before you travel.
What to Do with Your Electrical and Electronic Devices?
Appliances and electronics are subject to specific recycling which allows materials to be recovered and certain harmful products they may contain to be treated. Their collection rate is 49% (half is therefore not recycled). Refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners contain powerful greenhouse gases. Do not pierce them or tear off the insulating foams. Computer and multimedia equipment is riddled with heavy metals and arsenic, contained in electronic components. Take them to a recycling center or to a distributor who is obliged to take them back when buying a new device. If it still works, you may prefer to donate it to an association or a network of integration companies, where they will be repaired and then resold at a low price, given away, or recycled.
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