The Everyday Household Items You Should Be Recycling


More of us than ever before now recycle stuff. However, do we recycle everything that we could? The average resident of the US is still said to produce 4.5 pounds of waste a day. Here are a few items that we should all be recycling if we aren’t already.

Printer Ink Cartridges

If you do a lot of printing at home then you might go through ink cartridges fairly quickly. Instead of throwing them out and buying new ones you can recycle them and save money as well as help the planet. Almost all the big printer companies now run some sort of recycling service and you can also check in your local stores where you can part exchange an old, used cartridge when you buy a new one.

Plastic Bottles

Plastic bottles can be recycled in a few different ways. As well as looking for your local recycling containers you could get creative and use them at home. These bottles can be cut up and used to plants seeds in or as the basis for a kid’s craft project. There are many different ideas on the internet and it seems as though more people are now recycling them. 2.6 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in the US in 2010 but this figure should still be higher.


These household items can have a horrible effect on the environment if you put them in with your normal garbage or throw them away, although some modern batteries are clean enough to go with the normal household waste. There are now some very good schemes in place which let you recycle them safely and cleanly. All you need to do is check out where you can take them to in your local area and then check how many of them you have which no longer work. A little bit of research will tell you which ones can be disposed of with the normal household waste and which needs to be disposed of more carefully. Cell phone and camera batteries are among those which generally need to be dealt with in a special way by finding a place to accept them.

Old TV Sets

The fact that many of us now have a few TV sets around the house means that we throw out old ones with a greater frequency than ever before.  The old appliances can be very harmful to the planet, with some containing up to 8 pounds of lead in them.  Finding a responsible way of recycling them isn’t too difficult. However, it is important that you are careful about who you recycle these sets with. Some companies offer to take old ones off your hands but end up sending them off to developing countries, where they are often stripped for any useful parts. This is a really bad way of getting rid of an old TV set and it can end up causing a lot of environmental damage in the country it ends up in.

Old CDs and DVDs

These are other normal household items which we often find ourselves throwing out. However, before you do this you should consider what else you could do with, for example,  your old CDs and DVDs. There are a few fun craft projects you could use them for. For instance, they can be used as funky mirrors, as necklaces or as pieces of art to hang on the wall. On a more practical level, if you have problems with birds bothering you in your house or garden then making a shiny scarecrow out of shiny discs like these can be a decent solution.

11 Responses to The Everyday Household Items You Should Be Recycling

  1. Mark Ross says:

    Great tips on how to recycle those things and dispose them properly. I really like CDs, they’re cool to look at.

  2. I make it a point to recycle most things. Nothing electronic goes into the garbage since Best Buy will recycle most electronics for free.

  3. That’s a solid list you have there. Used clothing can also be reused in many ways:

    1) Cleaning rags
    2) Dress up clothes for children
    3) Halloween costumes

    Of course, friends with small children (especially babies) may appreciate some clothes that your children have grown out of.

    Whatever clothes are left over can be put to good use clothing someone else by donating them to a charitable organization.

  4. Mike Collins says:

    I can’t speak for all areas, but in my town at least you can’t throw a tv out in the garbage. The town won”t accept them, you have to drop it off at the local recycling center. Never thought about doing arts and crafts with old DVDs, that’s a good idea.

  5. Lots of great tips here, Robert. I had no idea about the TVs. We’ll have to research more carefully when we get rid of ours.

    • Robert says:

      Thanks Laurie. I was amazed when I saw a Nat Geo article on old US tvs being stripped out by kids in Africa, so it is something I am really aware of now

  6. Felix Nagel says:

    Really great tips you have here. The very first thing people usually do after these materials are used is to throw it away not knowing the hard it does aside from it being clutters scrap. But it’s great to know that there are pretty creative ways we can recycle these things and have them as decorations.

    Thanks for sharing this one.

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