(BPT) – Reduce, reuse, recycle — every effort counts when it comes to the environment. If you live in California, you’re likely already recycling some common household goods. But what about items that can’t go in the recycling bin? Are they destined for the landfill?
California is known around the world as a leader in environmental stewardship. Thanks to industry-led recycling efforts, Californians have the ability to recycle products that don’t belong or fit in the recycling bin, like mattresses, paint, carpet and batteries.
An estimated 75% of a mattress can be recycled. The steel, foam, fibers and wood are used in products like construction rebar, carpet padding, insulation, mulch and biomass fuel. Through the work of the Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program, the bedding industry is coordinating with mattress retailers, cities and waste haulers to help mattresses end up at recyclers instead of the landfill.
This program and the state law that created it give Californians options to dispose of mattresses at no cost. When you no longer need your mattress, MRC recommends you:
- Ask your retailer to take away your old mattress when they deliver a new one.
- Contact your city or waste hauler about the curbside collection of bulky items and if they participate in Bye Bye Mattress.
- Drop off your mattress during a Bye Bye Mattress collection event or at one of more than 220 participating collection sites around the state.
Paint is a wonderful way to update a home. If you have leftover paint you want to use again, store it correctly for future use. Use a paint key to open cans rather than a screwdriver which can damage the rim. Wipe the rim clean after use and then reseal the lid with a rubber mallet or place a piece of wood or book between the hammer and carefully tap down.
For paint you no longer need, don’t throw the cans in the trash. Find a free PaintCare drop-off site at local paint and hardware stores and bring in primers, stains, sealers and clear coatings such as shellac and varnish.
Leftover paint collected through the program is diverted from landfills and put to use, including immediate reuse for those who need it, processed into new recycled content paint products, blended into fuels, or used in other products such as landscaping materials and cement mixes.
Do you have plans to replace old carpet? More than 300 million pounds of carpet is torn out each year in California and more than 80% of it can be recycled into useful new products. The effort is led by the California Carpet Stewardship Program, administered by the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE).
Through the program, discarded carpet is collected at over 85 public drop-off locations and over 200 private collection sites, and recycled into useful new products. These products include automotive parts, house trim and siding, insulation, accessibility ramps and more.
Ask your installer about recycling options or research drop-off sites near you. Carpet recyclers, who are members of the California Carpet Stewardship Program, have diverted over 1 billion pounds of carpet from California landfills since 2011.
Many people have a drawer full of batteries, from rechargeable options for things like cell phones to single-use options such as D or AA. These batteries help facilitate many things used every day, but what happens when they are dead, broken or no longer needed?
Avoid throwing batteries in the trash and instead research collection options near you or through the mail. Call2Recycle offers a Battery Collection & Recycling program for all your battery recycling needs. Through the program, 95% of Californians live within 10 miles of an available Call2Recycle established drop-off site. Almost 140 million pounds of batteries have been collected in the United States since the Call2Recycle program launched in 1994.
Recycling common household goods may seem like a small action, but collectively it has a massive impact on environmental health. Be a part of the solution and take these simple steps in California to recycle and make a difference. primers, stains, sealers, and clear coatings such as shellac and varnish.
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