Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recycling Needs to be Easier

A while back one of my CFL light bulbs went out. I know you are not supposed to throw them in the garbage so I started looking for options to recycle it. I found a couple places including a local light bulb and battery store that offered recycling services. So I held on to the light bulb until I would finally be in that area to drop it off. 

A few weeks later I was going to be in that area so I brought the light bulb as well as a battery to recycle. I go in and tell the person working there that I have the bulb and battery to recycle. He tells me that there is a charge to recycle the light bulb. Seriously? I just held on to this thing for several weeks and made the trip over here just to try to do the right thing for the environment and they are going to charge to recycle a lightbulb?  Who is going to do that?

I sure was not, so I decided to hold on to the bulb. I gave them the battery which they accepted for free. As the title above says, recycling need to be easier. It it also needs to be free in cases like this. Most people would rather throw a light bulb in the garbage than have to drive somewhere and pay some one to recycle it. 

Recycling electronics is not always easy either. You really have to do your research to find a place that will recycle certain electronics. A lot of times communities will have recycle days for free, but they are often only a few times a year. Some big stores will recycle electronics but they will often charge a fee. People want to do the right thing that is best for the environment, but with examples like this, it is not very motivating to recycle.

If you have any thoughts on this issue or suggestions for places that recycle, feel free to share them in the comments below. 

UPDATE 5-24-21:

Recently I replaced the lithium ion battery on my cell phone so I wanted to make sure I did the right thing with the old battery. After doing dome research I found a few places that supposedly accepted them. First I tried Best Buy. I went in but they told me they do not accept this kind of battery for recycling.

Then I tried Home Depot because again the information online said they accepted this kind of battery. I went in but they told me they only accept batteries from power tool.

I looked up on the Apple website and they mentioned about recycling so I thought I would swing by there, but upon showing up, there was a line way out the door so I was not going to wait in a line like that just to possibly recycle a battery. 

Finally I called up Batteries Plus and asked them about it. They said they would accept it but they would charge a fee if it was damaged. My battery was in good condition so I brought it over to them and thankfully they accepted it free of charge. 

Again it brings my back to my point of how recycling needs to be easier. I went to 4 different stores just to recycle a little cell phone battery. Realistically that is not worth it, but I am the kind of person that wants to do the right thing in cases like this. But I could see how most people would not make this kind of effort and instead just throw it in the garbage. Think about how many people have cell phones and are replacing old ones each year. Then think about how many of those old batteries are going in the trash because it is too hard to recycle them. This is why changes need to be made so it is easier for people to recycle. 


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