With the warmer weather finally here, spring cleaning is unavoidable (as much as some of us would like to avoid it!) and that means cleaning out the garage, too.
We know that there is a life beyond for the things we no longer need. Our trash can be someone else’s treasure if we take the time to get the items we would like to discard to the right places.
Here are some suggestions for recycling certain items in your garage.
According to the Rubber Manufacturers Association, in 2013 more than 95 percent by weight of the scrap tires generated in the United States were reused: as tire-derived fuel, in ground rubber applications such as playground surfaces, and for engineering and construction uses.
Regulations for recycling tires vary by state. To locate a place to recycle tires in your area, search online under “local tire recycling.”
Used motor oil can be recycled. Many service stations and repair facilities will accept used oil and used oil filters. Local recycling centers may accept motor oil or be able to steer you to a place that does. The best way to locate a collection center is to visit Earth911 and search by ZIP code.
For places to donate your bike and for places that help recycle/reuse bicycle parts, check out Ibike.
There are programs that provide bikes to developing countries, such as Bicycles for Humanity and World Bicycle Relief; you won’t get rid of your bike but you will help others to obtain a bike that is “an engine for economic and cultural empowerment” as they say on one of the sites. What could be better than that!
Sometimes an organization like the Boy Scouts or a church youth group will sponsor a drive for gently used sports equipment. Check out organizations in your area to see if they are interested in your used items.
Shoes and Sneakers
And if you have worn-out or outgrown sneakers and sports shoes lying around, check out our post on where to recycle shoes.
Keep the memories of you and your kids playing sports or enjoying a bike ride in the park, but get rid of all the stuff you no longer need. The result? A more organized garage, a grateful recipient of the donated items, and a healthier environment.
≈Linda Hetzer is an editor and author of books on home design, crafts, and food, and coauthor of Moving On: A Practical Guide to Downsizing the Family Home.
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