Recycling Your Spring Clean-Out

Maybe you’re gearing up for some spring cleaning or maybe you’re just jumping on the decluttering bandwagon. But after you’ve determined that the half empty container of pesticide sitting in your garage does not bring you joy and before you casually toss it in the trash, think carefully. The things in your garage or under your sink might be more hazardous than you realize. There are the obvious ones you know should stay out of landfills — fertilizer, paint and pool chemicals — but things like your pet’s old flea collar or that nearly empty bottle of last year’s nail polish also

Eco Depot 2017

Eco Depot 2017

need to be disposed of properly. Unfortunately, too many people embrace the “a little bit won’t hurt” mentality when getting rid of their hazardous trash. But small bits of household waste add up to be a major threat to the environment. For example, Americans collectively dump 192 million gallons of used motor oil into the environment every year. Quick trivia question: How many gallons of oil were dumped into the Gulf of Mexico during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? Reported totals vary, but it wasn’t much more than 192 million gallons. That puts it in perspective, doesn’t it?

We know you want to do the right thing even though there isn’t a 24-hour oil spill cam broadcasting from your basement (ahem, BP). Luckily, Eco-Depot is here to help. Eco-Depot provides a free service to Rhode Island residents who want to get rid of their hazardous chemicals responsibly. They have several drop-off locations in the state and all you have to do is make a Saturday appointment to shed your hazardous waste. Their appointment model allows you to get in and out in 15 minutes — plenty of time to make your brunch reservation — and Eco-Depot will recycle or dispose of your waste according to state and federal regulations. To make an appointment, go to rirrc.org/ecodepot.

Even the thought of getting rid of that dusty old bike in your garage hurts, doesn’t it? But who do you think you’re kidding? You’re not riding that thing again. You can give your old wheels new life by donating him or her to Recycle-a-Bike. As long as it isn’t too rusty and looks like it could be repaired, Recycle-a-Bike will accept your donation and either use it to teach others the fine art of bike repair or refurbish it and give it to someone in need. With one donation you can multitask — keep trash out of the landfills, teach people a new skill, and get more bikes (and maybe fewer cars) on the road.

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