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Going Green: Five Items in Your Garage You Should Recycle

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According to a recent study, 75 percent of our nation’s garages are too full to hold cars.  Many of us have an overabundance of stuff that could use a good sifting through.  

But wait!  Before you toss out those items, read below to see if they can be reused or recycled.

  1. Cables and cords. From extension cords to jumper cables, it’s amazing how garages tend to accumulate them.  Luckily, Best Buy’s E-Cycle program accepts both cables and cords.  Not near a Best Buy?  Take your cords and cables containing copper wire to a scrap metal yard.  As you may know, copper is in high demand these days and you might be able to score some big cash.
  2. Motor Oil.  According to the EPA, motor oil doesn’t get old—it just gets dirty.  Further, it takes 42 gallons of crude oil to make 2.5 quarts of new, usable oil, but only one gallon of used oil to create the same amount.  Most service providers recycle it themselves, but if you are changing your own oil at home, check with local automobile maintenance facilities, waste collectors, and government waste officials to see where you can drop off your used oil for recycling.
  3. Holiday Lights and Decorations. These items are near and dear to my heart, as I was a regular volunteer at my small town’s Festival of Lights!  If strands of lights or Christmas décor are taking up your garage, consider donating unwanted items to a local light festival.  If there’s not one near you, Home Depot allows trading of broken or used holiday light strings for recycling. For each unwanted incandescent light string, customers can receive a coupon of up to $5 off new LED Christmas lights! 
  4. Bicycles. If extra bicycles are taking up space in your garage, The International Bicycle Fund provides a comprehensive list of bicycle donation locations in your area.  Consider donating surplus helmets and knee pads to your local Goodwill.
  5. Televisions. E-cycling is growing in popularity throughout the country, and thanks to web sites like E-Cycling Central it is easy to find local e-waste locations.  Televisions, radios, and old VHS players are just the half of what these places will accept.

Have any tips on repurposing other used or unwanted items in your garage?  Let us know by commenting below or sending an e-mail to green@wnco.com.  DING! You are now free to be Green!