Have you ever wondered about how to properly dispose of those odd items? By that I mean the ones that you don’t have to get rid of very often, which means that trying to figure out what to do with them to keep them out of the landfill is, well, kind of tricky. This time I’d like to give you some tips on recycling and reusing some of the media and electronic things we tend to accumulate.
Books and Magazines: Books in good condition can be given to Miles Thrift Shop, the Skidompha Used Book Shop or your local library. Books and magazines also are welcomed by organizations that serve medical patients and the elderly: hospice, the hospital, and assisted living facilities. You might even ask an elementary teacher you know if magazines for “cut-out” class projects would be welcomed. Pemaquid Watershed Association will take nature magazines for the purpose of collaging their Hike and Paddle Pocket Guide distribution boxes.
CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes: These can also be given to Miles Thrift Shop or Skidompha Used Book Shop for resale. If CDs or DVDs are damaged, or contain private information, a good solution is to send them to CD Recycling Center of America, 68H Stiles Road, Salem, NH 03079. They recycle both the discs and the plastic cases they come in, and accept CDs, CDrs, DVDs, DVDrs, Blu-Ray discs, related disc packaging and cases, and even old floppy discs! They recommend that you scratch the discs before mailing if they contain any private or proprietary information. Their website is http://www.cdrecyclingcenter.com/ CDs and DVDs may also be accepted at your local transfer station as recyclable rigid plastics. Ask a transfer station attendant.
Electronics: It is crucial to properly dispose of electronic-waste (aka e-waste) because electronics are manufactured using toxic substances, including heavy metals and plastics that create cancer-causing dioxins when burned at a waste-to-energy facility like Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. (PERC). During the annual Twin Villages Earth Fest, the Rotary Club of Damariscotta and Newcastle collects electronics for recycling. You also can drop off any brand of used computer equipment at participating Goodwill donation centers. Staples Office Supplies allows customers to bring any brand of office technology in any condition, regardless of where they purchased it, to Staples stores for free recycling by their recycler, Electronics Recyclers International (ERI). Your local transfer station may also accept e-waste, but check in with them for exceptions, as some take only certain items.
Stay tuned for the next Talkin’ Trash article in which I will tell you how to dispose of cell phones, eyeglasses, hearing aids, ink cartridges and smoke detectors.
By Lynne Gilbert, PWA Member