From Dean Dowd on October 31, 2008 in General Remodel
Some people do spring cleaning every year, but some do their big clean in the fall. When pulling out all the fall and winter items for the season events and weather, cleaning becomes inevitable. Take caution when throwing out household debris because all trash that comes out of the house is not necessarily trash for the garbage man pick-up. As you sort through household debris from the garage, attic, basement, etc., pay special attention to the following items for removal and re-routing. White goods are items like refrigerators, freezers, stoves, microwaves, and most major household appliances. White goods contain chemicals and pollutants that effect the environment detrimentally and need proper handling for disposal, recycling, or donation. Recycling will reduce landfill volume, help offset pollution problems, and save energy and natural resources. Household hazardous waste items would include cleaners, chemicals, paint, auto products, batteries, and pesticides. These items do not belong in any landfill as they are hazardous to the environment and to human health. When disposing of these items, they should be sealed and contained to avoid spills, and labeled clearly as to what they contain. Electronic waste items like game systems, computers, DVDs, television sets, phones, etc. often contain mercury and lead and can be bad for humans and the environment if improperly disposed of. Many of these items are recyclable and can be refurbished. Construction and damaged materials from your remodel, such as carpeting, furniture, doors, windows, lighting and bathroom fixtures, are items that can clearly be recycled and reused. Here are some very good sites that give important information on how to dispose of what we just covered. They also list places to get help for their removal or reuse.
- Earth911 lists materials and recycling possibilities by zip code.
- For details on facilities and programs, contact the solid-waste, environmental protection, or public works agency in your city: http://www.wastedisposalweb.net/ and http://www.bringrecycling.org/everything_else.html (for Oregon).
- For help with electronics and recycling, look at Electronics Reuse & Recycling Center on GreenerChoices.org.
- The U.S. EPA has a list of the environmental agencies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.