When it comes to recycling, some people find it a chore. In fact, up to 70 percent of everything that goes into a landfill could be recycled. A good amount of those items, though, simply take up space in a landfill. However, there are some items that absolutely should never be thrown away because, in addition to taking up landfill space, they are toxic and can work their way back into our water or our food. These five items must always be recycled or disposed of in the proper way.
• Electronics, including televisions, old computer monitors and parts, cell phones, and stereos. Often, these items contain harmful substances like mercury. Many cities have special electronic recycling days or collection areas, and most electronics stories will take old cell phones and recycle them.
• Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs are another danger. They contain mercury, which means they don’t go in landfills. Some stores, including Home Depot, are now taking old CFL bulbs. Since they last so much longer, however, you won’t need to recycle them that often.
• Car fluids, including wiper fluid and antifreeze. Basically, any type of fluid that comes out of your car should not go into a landfill due to its toxic nature. Check with your local garbage company to learn how to dispose of these fluids.
• Likewise, paint should be taken to the local hazardous waste collection center. Many cities have laws against disposing of what is called free-flowing liquids in the garbage, so in addition to putting toxins in the ground, throwing away your paint may actually be illegal.
• Finally, lithium-ion batteries should not be thrown away. These include rechargeable batteries and batteries used in cell phones and other devices. Many electronics stores also recycle these batteries.