disposeEver have an item that you know you shouldn’t dispose of in your trash bin but didn’t know where to take it? Like most of us, you want to be respectful of our environment so your kids & grandkids can enjoy our planet for years to come.

These days, most communities have some means to recycle. Whether it is curbside pickup, or dumpsters in school parking lots, you can usually find a local solution to reduce your carbon footprint. There are however, rules as to what specifically you can and cannot put in those bins. This post is for those items that should not go into your trash dumpster, curbside recycle bins or other specific recycle dumpsters.

We all know the typical items that can be recycled – paper, glass, aluminum and tin cans, and plastics with numbers 1-5. But how does one dispose of paint, smoke detectors, expired medications, etc? Various vendors now provide the means to recycle many of the items that cannot go into your home recycling bin. There are also events hosted by vendors or your local community to help you in your recycling efforts.

Below is a list of items and where you can properly dispose of them so you can be a good steward of the environment. If you know of any others that are not on this list, please post them here and happy recycling!

•Fluorescent lights – Batteries Plus takes CFL bulbs as well as the tubes from the long fixtures, oh and batteries too.

•Smoke detectors & CO2 detectors– Check the list of accepted items for hazardous waste events in your area. Update: These items are tricky since there are different types that contain different components.  Check out this article on Earth911.com for more information.

•Latex paint – For a small amount left in the can, open the lid, let it dry completely, and put it in your trash bin. For half a can or more, take to your local hazardous waste drop off facility.

•Gasoline – Contact your local fire station, they will usually take it and dispose of it in a safe manner. NOTE: They will keep the container.

•Motor oil – Drop off used oil at Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations, visit www.vioc.com to find a location near you.

•Expired medications – For information on the safe disposal of expired medications, visit the Food and Drug Administration’s website.

•Plastic grocery bags – Most grocery and discount stores have a receptacle onsite to discard your unwanted bags to be recycled.

•Computers – Both Hewlett Packard and Dell Computers have recycling programs, or go to www.cristina.org.

•Electronics – Check for electronics recycling events in your communities.

•If you have items not on this list and are unsure about proper disposal, visit www.earth911.com more information.