Recycling is a big thing these days, and for good reason. People all over the world are waking up to the necessity that is recycling everything from plastic and glass to aluminum and paper. They're even taking steps to properly get rid of electronic equipment. All of these materials, when not properly disposed of, can end up in the environment or in landfills where they pollute the natural world and pose a serious threat to wildlife and humans.

 

If you haven't yet taken the steps in your own home or workplace to recycle, there's no better time than now to get started. To give you more perspective on how important this is, continue reading for a list of four items that are so dangerous they should never be thrown out in the regular trash bin.

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs

With the ban on incandescent light bulbs, people have fewer choices when it comes to the light bulbs they use in their homes. And while compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are great because they last longer and can help you save money on your electricity bills, the truth is they're manufactured with toxic mercury. This is why you have to be extra careful and take special steps to clean up a broken CFL bulb, and you need to recycle them properly. Otherwise, mercury will get into the environment and wreak havoc. So are they really better for the environment after all? The question is definitely a valid one. In the meantime, if you do own these light bulbs, take them to a location that collects them for recycling, such as some hardware stores like Lowe's and Home Depot.

Paint

If you're renovating your home or making repairs here and there with paints, varnishes, and stains, make sure you don't just throw out the cans when you're done with them. Find out where your local hazardous materials collection point is so that you can take everything there to be properly disposed of.

Batteries

There are different ways to properly dispose of the many types of batteries that you use throughout your home. For example, rechargeable batteries can be taken to recycling points at many retail locations, such as Walmart and Staples, while batteries that you use in your watch can be recycled at jewelry and watch stores. Take your old car battery to the store you plan on purchasing a new one from, and make sure you get rid of zinc carbon and alkaline batteries at an HHW (Household Hazardous Waste) facility.

Electronics

All electronics, including televisions, computers, and small devices, need to be recycled. Check out the EPA's website for recycling centers in your area that will gladly take these items off your hands if you don't have a local program available. And, once again, retail locations can come in really handy when it comes to dropping off used cell phones if you don't want to go through the trouble of selling them back to websites that will pay you a small fee for them. 

 

Tina Wood is a freelance blogger who is very concerned about the environmental damage caused by items that aren't recycled. She encourages everyone to look for recycling facilities and places like U Pull & Pay, where you can donate and pick up car parts to reuse and them and keep them out of landfills.