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Recycling Instead Of Trashing

The Saturday Early Show received some recycling tips from Organic Style Editor in Chief Peggy Northrop.

She explained what is recyclable and how to do it easily. Northrop say Organic Style's November/December issue researched where to recycle some of your trash. Even better, if you donate to a qualified organization before the end of the year, you may be able to get a tax deduction.

Recycling is the smart thing to do, according to Northrop, because it conserves valuable resources, protects air and water from pollutants, help the needy and strengthen the economy.

Remember, one person's trash might be another's treasure.

Recycling Appliances (Washer/Dryers, Refrigerators, Ovens)

People sometimes throw away working appliances when others might be more than happy to take them. Try donating a used appliance to local soup kitchens or shelters. See the National Coalition for the Homeless directory of organizations in your area, if you would like to donate an appliance.

If your appliance is broken beyond repair, take it to a Steel Recycling Institute drop-off site. Tel: (800) 937-1226.

Recycling Mattresses

Each discarded mattress represents 23-cubic-feet of polyurethane foam, steel, cotton and wood. Keeping them out of landfills is a matter of efficiently recycling them so their core materials can be reincarnated into any number of new products.

The St. Vincent de Paul Society in Oakland, California recycles mattresses and other textiles into new bedding. Check for similar programs near you.

Recycling Building materials
(Cabinet Parts, Drywall, Plumbing Fixtures, Doors, Flooring, Windows)

Habitat for Humanity, a national organization that builds and renovates low-income housing can use left over building material to build houses. Also, Habitat for Humanity's 50 ReStore locations sells building materials for a fraction of retail cost.
The Loading Dock in Baltimore is the first fully nonprofit distributor of used building material.

The Reuse People is a similar organization in Berkeley, CA, Tel: (510) 567-8525.

Recycling Paint

To store leftover paint for your own or someone else's use, place a sheet of plastic wrap under the lid, shut it tightly and then store the can upside down in a cool place. The paint forms an air-tight seal that will keep the contents fresh for years.

Northrop says to check local churches, theater groups and schools because they may need paint for their facilities.

Habitat for Humanity accepts leftover paint.

Oregon's Paint Back program uses donated paint to cover graffiti, Tel: (503) 588-5169 ext. 599.

Earth has more info about recycling paint and where to take it locally.

Greeting Cards

Turn greeting cards into something new. St. Jude's Ranch for Children, a home and recreational center for abused, neglected and disadvantaged children in Nevada, turns cards into new works of art.

Recycling Business Attire And Formal Wear

If you have women's business suits or clothing appropriate for job interviews, you can donate them to Dress for Success, an international organization that provides outfits to homeless and jobless women for interviews and new jobs.

The Glass Slipper Project in Chicago collects formal wear for teenage girls who can't afford new prom dresses.

Recycling Tennis Shoes

Shoes for Africa sends shoes to needy athletes around the world.

Nike's ReUse-a-Shoe program allows you to drop off old sneakers (they don't have to be Nike) at Niketown stores and other drop-off locations, Tel: (800) 292-6453.

Recycling Eyeglasses

The Lions Club collects glasses for those who can't afford them, both nationally and internationally, Tel: (800) 747-4448.

LensCrafters's Gift of Sight program distributes glasses to people in developing countries.

Recycling Batteries

Don't trash rechargeable batteries that no longer have juice. Drop off rechargeable batteries at Best Buy, Target, Circuit City, Radio Shack, Wal-Mart, Home Depot.

Find locations of hazardous waste drop-off sites from your state's department of the environment. See the EPA's website for a directory.

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) can help you recycle your portable rechargeable batteries. These batteries are commonly found in cordless power tools, cellular and cordless phones, laptop computers, camcorders, digital cameras and remote control toys.

Recycling Computers

The Cristina Foundation donates used computers to hundreds of pre-screened non-profits.

Share the Technology is a database that links needy schools to those with equipment.

The Lazarus Foundation works with needy organizations looking for computers in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area.

You can check the EPA's Guide to Computer Recycling for more nonprofit programs.

Also, check out your state's policy on electronics recycling at

Recycling Cell Phones

Call to Protect donates phones to women at risk for domestic violence.

Collective Good International gathers the phones for a variety of international charities.

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