Sunday, October 31, 2010

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Here at Knobby's Acres I'm wanting to reduce the amount of trash generated around the homestead and thus reduce the amount of trash that we put out in the world environment, so for this week I will be posting things about the 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)

First few posts will be kinda like a guide about how one gos about Recycling anything - -


Aerosol cans: These can usually be recycled with other cans, as long as you pull off the plastic cap and empty the canister completely.

Antiperspirant and deodorant sticks: Many brands have a dial on the bottom that is made of a plastic polymer that’s different from the plastic used for the container, so your center might not be able to recycle the whole thing (look on the bottom to find out). Tom’s of Maine makes a deodorant stick composed solely of plastic No. 5.


Backpacks: The American Birding Association accepts donated backpacks, which its scientists use while tracking neotropical birds (

Batteries: Recycling batteries keeps hazardous metals out of landfills. Many stores, like RadioShack and Office Depot, accept reusable ones, as does the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation ( Car batteries contain lead and can’t go in landfills, because toxic metals can leach into groundwater, but almost any retailer selling them will also collect and recycle them.

Beach balls: They may be made of plastic, but there aren’t enough beach balls being thrown away to make them a profitable item to recycle. If a beach ball is still usable, donate it to a thrift store or a children’s hospital.

Books: “Hard covers are too rigid to recycle, so we ask people to remove them and recycle just the pages,” says Sarah Kite, recycling manager of the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation, in Johnston. In many areas, paperbacks can be tossed in with other paper.


Carpeting (nylon fiber): Go to and click on “What can I do with my old carpet?” to find a carpet-reclamation facility near you, or check with your carpet’s manufacturer. Some carpet makers, like Milliken (, Shaw (, and Flor (, have recycling programs.

Cars, Jet Skis, boats, trailers, RVs, and motorcycles: Even if these are unusable―totaled, rusted―they still have metal and other components that can be recycled. Call junkyards in your area, or go to, which will pick up and remove cars, trailers, motorcycles, and other heavy equipment for free.

Cell phones: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, fewer than 20 percent of cell phones are recycled each year, and most people don’t know where to recycle them. The Wireless Foundation refurbishes old phones to give to domestic-violence survivor For information on other cell-phone charities, log on to In some states, like California and New York, retailers must accept and recycle old cell phones at no charge. There are also companies out there that will buy cell phones from you, which is great if you want to raise a little extra money - PhoneIsCash

Compact fluorescent lightbulbs: CFLs contain mercury and shouldn’t be thrown in the trash. Ikea and the Home Depot operate CFL recycling programs; you can also check with your local hardware store or recycling center to see if it offers recycling services.

Computers: You can return used computers to their manufacturers for recycling (check for a list of vendors) or donate them to a charitable organization (log on to or repairs your broken computers and gives them to underfunded schools, needy families, and nonprofits.

Crayons: Send them to the National Crayon Recycle Program (, which melts down crayons and reforms them into new ones. Leave the wrappers on: “When you have black, blue, and purple crayons together without wrappers, it’s hard to tell them apart,” says the program’s founder, LuAnn Foty, a.k.a. the Crazy Crayon Lady.

Crocs: The manufacturer recycles used Crocs into new shoes and donates them to underprivileged families. Mail them to: Crocs Recycling West, 3375 Enterprise Avenue, Bloomington CA 92316.


DVDs, CDs, and jewel cases: If you want to get rid of that Lionel Richie CD because “Dancing on the Ceiling” doesn’t do it for you anymore, you can swap it for a disc from another music lover at But if you just want to let it go and not worry about it ending up in a landfill, send it (along with DVDs and jewel cases) to for recycling.


Empty metal cans (cleaning products): Cut off the metal ends of cans containing powdered cleansers, such as Ajax and Bon Ami, and put them in with other household metals. (Use care when cutting them.) Recycle the tubes as you would any other cardboard.

Empty metal cans (food products): Many towns recycle food cans. If yours doesn’t, you can find the nearest steel-can recycling spot at Rinse out cans, but don’t worry about removing the labels. “Leaving them on doesn’t do any harm,” says Marti Matsch, the communications director of Eco-Cycle, one of the nation’s oldest and largest recyclers, in Boulder, Colorado. “When the metal is melted,” she says, “the paper burns up. If you want to recycle the label with other paper, that’s great, but it’s not necessary.”

Eyeglasses: Plastic frames can’t be recycled, but metal ones can. Just drop them into the scrap-metal bin. However, given the millions of people who need glasses but can’t afford them, your frames, broken or not, will go to better use if you donate them to (sunglasses and plastic frames in good condition can also be donated). Or drop off old pairs of glasses at LensCrafters, Target Optical, or other participating stores and doctors’ offices, which will send them to


Fake plastic credit cards: They’re not recyclable, so you can’t just toss them along with their paper junk-mail solicitations. Remove them first and throw them in the trash.

Film canisters: Check with your local recycling center to find out if it takes gray film-container lids (No. 4) and black bases (No. 2). If not, many photo labs will accept them.

Fire extinguishers: There are two types of extinguishers. For a dry-chemical extinguisher, safely relieve the remaining pressure, remove the head from the container, and place it with your bulk-metal items (check with your local recycler first). Alternatively, call fire-equipment companies and request that they dispose of your extinguisher. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are refillable after each use.

Food processors. Some communities accept small household appliances for recycling―if not in curbside collection, then in drop-off locations. (New York City will even pick up appliances left on the sidewalk.) “If an appliance is more than 50 percent metal, it is recyclable,” says Kathy Dawkins, director of public information for New York City’s Department of Sanitation. Most appliances are about 75 percent steel, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. So unless you know something is mostly plastic, it will probably qualify.

Formal wear: Finally, a use for that mauve prom or bridesmaid dress: Give it to a girl who can’t afford one (go to or


Gadgets: There are many ways to recycle PDAs, MP3 players, and other devices so that any money earned from the parts goes to worthy causes―a win, win, win scenario (for you, the environment, and charity)., for example, will send you prepaid shipping labels, recycle your gadgets, then donate the proceeds to breast cancer charities.

Glue: Many schools have recycling programs for empty containers of Elmer’s glue and glue sticks. Students and teachers rinse out the bottles, which are then sent to Wal-Mart for recycling. Find out more at

Glue strips and inserts in magazines: Lotion samples and nonpaper promotional items affixed to glue strips in magazines should be removed because they can jam up recycling equipment (scented perfume strips, on the other hand, are fine). “One of the biggest challenges we get is pages of promotional stickers and stamps,” says Matsch, “which can adhere to the machinery and tear yards of new paper fiber.”

DINNER; while you're figuring out all your recycling stuff you can put these in the crock pot for dinner:


1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
1 can (15 oz) red kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 can ( 14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup salsa
1/4 cup chopped onions
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 cups shredded reduced fat Cheddar cheese, divided
6 green peppers. tops removed & seeded

Combine all ingredients, except 1/4 cup cheese and green peppers.
Stuff peppers. Arrange peppers in Crock Pot. Cover, cook on low 6 - 8
hours (high 3 - 4 hours) Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese during the last
30 minutes. - - Makes 6 servings

NOTE: for you meat eaters, you can also add some ground beef to above ingredient mixture

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