Finding recycling locations can be a daunting task, especially when dealing with diverse items like electronics, paper, plastics, hazardous materials, household goods, glass, metal, or even automotive parts.
Finding the right location to drop off each type is key. This article provides easy ways to locate recycling centers and drop-off points tailored to each material and your location.
Here are five ways to identify recycling locations:
Use an online recycling locator
The easiest way to identify item-specific recycling centers, drop-off locations, and donation centers is through using an online recycling locator. You mark the item you want to recycle, enter your zip code, and the locator provides you with a list of locations where you can recycle that specific item.
Consider these recycling locators:
Search local government websites
The majority of states and municipalities maintain some type of pages related to waste management and recycling. By visiting these websites, you can often find specific details on recycling programs, schedules, and drop-off centers available in your area. If you’re in the US, refer to this search engine to find your local government website.
Check retailer take-back programs
Many retailers offer take-back and buy-back programs for products they sell. Brands such as Ikea, Nike, Patagonia, and others all offer programs that allow customers to return used or worn-out items for recycling or repurposing. These initiatives not only reduce waste, but allow the brands to repurpose the items, reducing the ever-increasing demand on our natural resources.
Visit secondhand stores and thrift shops
Many secondhand stores and thrift shops accept different types of recyclables like clothing, electronics, and furniture. By giving your items to a thrift shop, you’re giving them a second life and keeping them out of landfills.
These are some of the most well-known secondhand organizations, but make sure to also search for local alternatives:
Find specialized electronic and hazardous waste collection locations
Certain items, like batteries, paints, and electronics, often require special disposal. In most cases, an online recycling locator will identify these for you, but if it is unable to do so, try Call2Recycle.org’s battery and cellphone recycling locator (for USA and Canada) to explore the options available to you. Many municipalities also hold periodic hazardous waste collection events to handle and recycle these materials safely. There’s another good reason to keep an eye on those local government websites!