Reduce, reuse, recycle! We’ve all heard this mantra, yet we still find it difficult to follow it. For recycling, many still cannot get over the habit of just throwing everything into the regular garbage bin. However, recycling is extremely important because of our universal responsibility to take care of our environment. Along with that, this opens up the opportunity to conserve and reuse energy instead of creating more waste. Besides from the well-known items you can recycle – such as water bottles, glass, etc – there is so much more that you can throw into the blue bin! Here is a list of surprising things you can actually recycle.

1. Electronics

Once you get a new phone, don’t just throw your old phone away! Many electronic companies accept their old products back either for credit or to break down and reuse the parts in other devices. The same is true of home appliances, old computers, cameras, video game consoles, and printers. Old CDs and DVDs can be recycled as well. Go to your local electronics store or certified waste facilities and hand them all over!

2. Holiday Lights

Many have a pile of burnt out holiday lights after the holidays are over. Don’t throw them to waste! Holiday lights have copper wire inside them that is a recyclable metal and can be extracted for reuse. Twinkle lights, fluorescent bulbs, compact fluorescent lights (CFLs), and any other newer LED lights should be recycled and not thrown away.

3. Porcelain

Anything from simple porcelain tiles to heavy-duty appliances such as porcelain stoves, toilets, and bathtubs can also be recycled. The porcelain industry alone often recycles most of the scrap porcelain that is cut from their final product. Be sure that when you are recycling any porcelain items to thoroughly clean them and remove all the non-porcelain parts. Porcelain can be broken down to be used as material for road aggregate, which is put underneath roads and sidewalks to help stabilize them.

4. Cooking Oil

Oil is oil – your leftover cooking oil can be used as fuel for something greater! It is often advised anyways that it’s a bad idea to pour cooking oil down the drain, as it will eventually solidify and block your house’s and town’s pipes. Instead, your cooking oil can be refined into biofuel that can run clean in diesel engines. Call your local recycling program for a special collection and give back your oil, instead of throwing it out and potentially harming your town’s environment and infrastructure.

5. Mattresses

Oversized items such as mattresses aren’t often seen as recyclable, but they are! Mattresses are actually constructed with a variety of recyclable materials such as wood, cotton, and metal. If left alone in a landfill, mattresses take centuries to break down. Instead of letting your old mattress take up more landfill space, ask your local hauling or recycling company to take it away.

6. Aluminum Foil

Aluminum cans aren’t the only thing you can recycle! Aluminum foil, even after it has been used, is just as recyclable as cans. The reason many do not recycle it is often because there is residue coating it after use – but if you completely clean any food and grease off, then it’s ready for recycling! Recycled aluminum in all shapes and forms is one of the most valuable recyclable materials – so don’t waste, recycle!

Go Greener in New Jersey

As you can see, there is a multitude of things you can and should recycle for the better of the environment! If you want to recycle or dispose of something but aren’t sure how, don’t be afraid to call Cali Carting for help. Cali Carting is a family-owned full-service solid waste and recycling company located in Kearny, NJ. We would love to answer any questions and inquiries you have about recycling! Contact us today to learn more about our services, and for any help you may need in going green!