3 Types of Recycling You Didn’t Know About

recycle batteries

Recycling is a great way to help the environment because it reuses resources that would otherwise sit in a landfill. Most people have a pretty good idea about what’s recyclable, but here’s a short list of typical things you can recycle:

  • Paper 
  • Carboard
  • Plastic
  • Glass
  • Textiles
  • Metal
  • Wood

While you probably knew about a lot of those, there are other types of recycling you have probably never heard of. Believe it or not, there are some bizarre things you can recycle. Keep reading to find out what they are and how to recycle them!

Unique Types of Recycling

1. Oil

That’s right! You can recycle the oil from your car’s next oil change. As long as you don’t mix your motor oil with any other car fluids or household chemicals, you can take the used oil to an auto repair service or to a local recycling facility. 

Recycling motor oil is a great way to help the environment. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Environment and Energy, motor oil picks up contaminants when in contact with the engine and transmission. These contaminants include lead, cadmium, chromium, arsenic, dioxins, benzene, and polycyclic aromatics. If released into the environment, these contaminants can harm plants, animals, and people. 

On the other hand, The United States Environmental Agency reports that one gallon of used oil can provide one gallon of fuel oil. Moreover, with high-intensity processing, one gallon of used oil can provide about 2.5 quarts of lubricating base oil.

You can also recycle cooking oil! Pouring greasy oil down the drain can block pipes as the oil solidifies. On the other hand, any used cooking oil or grease can be recycled to create biodiesel. To recycle cooking oil, find a household waste recycling facility in your area. If there aren’t any near you, you can call the local fire department to see if the oil is accepted there. Next, designate a container to pour your used cooking oil in and once the container is full, bring it to one of the facilities. 

2. Batteries

Many different kinds of batteries are recyclable! Batteries contain chemicals, such as cadmium, zinc, manganese, nickel, silver, mercury, lithium, and acids that are extremely toxic. As batteries decompose in landfills, they undergo a photochemical reaction that causes greenhouse gasses to be emitted. Batteries that contaminate soil and water can kill plants and animals. Moreover, these chemicals are toxic to humans. 

When you recycle batteries, a lot of those harmful chemicals are reused for other things, rather than ending up in landfills. To recycle single-use batteries, you can bring them to a local recycling facility or participating in a mail-in program to send your used batteries off. Some stores even have designated places where you can recycle used batteries.

You can recycle rechargeable batteries in the same way -dropping it off at a local recycling facility, participate in mail-in programs or take-back programs. In fact, in many states, it’s against the law to throw away rechargeable batteries, leaving you with no choice but to recycle them. 

Lastly, you can recycle car batteries. Car batteries are actually the most recycled products in the US. You can simply drop off your old battery at a dealership. If your car is given a new battery at a dealership, the old battery is automatically recycled. 

3. Electronics

Electronics are some of the most valuable recyclable items. If your phone, tablet, or laptop stops working, recycling them is both easy and efficient. First, it helps the environment. Electronics, like batteries, contain toxic substances and heavy metals. Moreover, because so many people use electronic devices, there are massive amounts being improperly disposed of on a constant basis. 

To recycle your small or large electronic devices, do a factory reset and delete any personal information on it. If your electronic uses a lithium or ion battery, remove it. These batteries must be recycled separately. Next, find a place that will accept your old electronics. Some locations have bins to drop the items off and many charities or businesses will even accept them. Moreover, some companies will even have annual electronic recycling events. There are many options available for e-recycling, so do research and keep an eye out for any opportunities. 

Start Recycling Today!

Recycling is a great way to help the environment, and now that you know about all the crazy things you can recycle, you can start helping the environment even more! However, it’s one thing to recycle small household items and another to mass recycle waste from a business. Companies like Generated Materials Recovery offer industrial recycling services for businesses across the United States. Start recycling today and contact Generated for more information!

Clay Miller
the authorClay Miller
I am the creator/writer of and I'm an advocate for oceans, beaches, state parks. I enjoy all things outdoors (e.g. running, golf, gardening, hiking, etc.) I am a graduate of the University of Kentucky (Go Wildcats!!). I'm also a huge fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Kentucky.

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