All the new iPhones out there got me thinking.
Most people know how to turn in their old smartphone to their service provider for credit or sell it for cash online or elsewhere.
But what about items that are a little trickier to recycle? Here are some tips:
• Fluorescent bulbs
CFLs – or compact fluorescent light bulbs – should never be thrown away because they contain a small amount of mercury. There are several big companies that have convenient drop-off sites and will recycle them responsibly.
Lowe’s, Home Depot, Target and Ikea stores all do it. Many full-service recycling centers will also accept them.
• Plastic bags
Return most plastic bags for recycling at your local grocery stores. Most grocery stores, along with Wal-Mart and Target, will also accept most plastic sandwich bags, cereal bags, newspaper bags and all types of plastic wraps.
Only a handful of curbside recycling programs will accept batteries, but there are many retailers and full-service recycling centers that will. Earth911.org and the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp. (www.rbrc.org) both provide online directories to help you find nearby recyclers.
• Tattered clothing
Most of us have given away good clothing to charitable organizations, but what about things like rags, bedding, or towels too worn out to be reused? Goodwill wants them too. These items are sorted and sold for recycling or many other uses, such as sofa stuffing.
• Ink and toner cartridges
Printer cartridges are actually easily refilled and recycled. You can also get paid to turn in your old cartridges. There are several online sources that will supply a prepaid shipping label to mail accepted cartridges in exchange for cash. Or you can turn in your used cartridges for recycling at Office Max, Staples and Office Depot and earn a store credit for every accepted cartridge.