This is a guest column by Joan Rattner Heilman, a member of Village of Mamaroneck’s Committee for the Environment:
Should you toss it in the garbage, or can it be recycled? If so, how, where, when? Here is the scoop from the Village of Mamaroneck’s Committee for the Environment about the environmentally correct disposal of some common household items.
Books: Books, hardcover and soft, are not recyclable. If they are in good condition, try to sell them or donate to a library or thrift shop.
Prescription or over-the-counter drugs: Do not flush down the sink or the toilet. Mix with garbage and throw away.
Non-rechargeable and alkaline rechargeable batteries can now be tossed in with the household trash. Drop off other rechargeables for recycling at Village Hall at the Regatta.
CFL bulbs/fluorescent tubes: Take intact used bulbs to the returns desk at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Carefully scoop up broken bulbs or tubes using disposable gloves and cardboard, seal in two plastic bags, place in your outside garbage can. Include the gloves and the cardboard.
Paint: Harden unused paint by mixing with kitty litter or other absorbent pellet material. Place empty or hardened cans, lids off, next to your garbage can.
Cellphones, digital cameras, inkjet cartridges, tablets, laptops, rechargeable batteries: Take to Village Hall at the Regatta. Also, Staples will give you $2 credit for each used printer cartridge, and ecoATM, an automated kiosk in the White Plains Galleria Mall, pays cash for cellphones, tablets, iPods, and MP3 players.
Plastic cups, glasses and dishes: Recycle those coded 1-7.
Styrofoam and bubble wrap: Dispose with the trash. Take Styrofoam “peanuts” and bubble wrap to ASAP to be used again.
Eyeglasses: Drop them in the Lions’ Club receptacle in Village Hall at the Regatta to be donated to people who need them.
Towels, bed linens, blankets, small rugs: Animal shelters—i.e., Westchester Humane Society on Harrison Avenue or the New Rochelle Humane Society—want them for bedding and comfort.
Milk cartons, frozen-food, butter, juice, ice cream boxes: Throw them out. Because they are waxed, they cannot be recycled.
All other cardboard boxes are recyclable, no matter what color, kind, or purpose.
Plastic yogurt, cream cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream containers: Wash them first, then put them in your recycling bin.
Flower pots: Recycle plastic pots. Give away or toss pots made of ceramic or clay.
Hangers: Not recyclable. Offer metal hangers to your dry cleaner.
Dishes, ceramics, windows, drinking glasses, mirrors, etc.: Broken, they go in the trash. Whole, they go to a thrift shop or a friend who can use them.
Hazardous waste: Do not dump down sinks, toilets, storm drains, or onto the ground. Make an appointment to take it to Westchester County’s H-MRF in Valhalla (914-813-5425; www.environment.westchestergov/new-h-mrf).
Anything that plugs into the wall (broken lamps, hair dryers, appliances, computers, TVs, microwaves, phones, blenders, etc.): Drop it all off at the Recycling Center on Fayette Ave (off Fenimore Rd.).
Or, put TVs, monitors, or computers at the curb on 5th Wednesdays
of the month. Call the DPW (777-7745) in advance for a pickup.
Exception: “white waste” (refrigerators, washers, stoves, etc.) is
not accepted at the Recycling center but is picked up at the curb
(Freon removed) on your once-a-month Bulk Metal Day.
Or call Con Edison which will not only remove unwanted
refrigerators and freezers (Freon intact), but will pay you $50
each for the privilege.
Tires: Retailers, including Mavis Discount Tires (827 Mamaroneck Ave.), accept them for free or a nominal fee.
Building materials: Give a second life to construction materials (asphalt shingles, brick, dry wall, cement blocks, lumber, paint, etc.) left over from home repairs or unwanted after demolition. Offer them to Westchester Habitat for Humanity (636-8335) or go to www.earth911.com for other options.