This winter, I was on a mission to clean out my closets and basement. It was incredible how much stuff had been stashed in the dark recesses of my house. Although some of this stuff was my own, much of it belonged to the house’s previous owner who left the it fully furnished and complete with towels in the dryer, computer equipment in the spare room and construction materials in the basement.
I thought a lot of the stuff I found might be recyclable, but I didn’t know where to bring it. Finding recycling programs for uncommon items can be difficult because many places don’t advertise their programs or the program gets such a small mention on their website it doesn’t show up in search engines.
Enter the iRecycle app from Earth911.com, available for iOS and Android. The makers of this app have done the hard work of finding those recycling programs for you and put the information at your fingertips.
If you have an item to recycle, the app’s home screen allows you to search for a recycling location by keyword or category. Then you can tap the item to reveal recycling locations or programs. By default the search results are based on your current location. Each location or program can be tapped for details such as a list of all materials accepted, an address, a phone number and/or hours of operation.
Once you find a recycling program to participate in, and before you get excited and rush over to the location with a car full of stuff, call to confirm the information in the app is accurate.
I’ve already found a few inaccurate or misleading listings for my area. For example, iRecycle suggests I can recycle ceramic tile at Construction Junction but they do not recycle used tile, they only take donations of new tile or good condition tile from a deconstruction (usually in for form of a mantle or other decorative piece.)
In addition to local recycling programs, the app also includes mail-in programs, like Terracycle Brigades.
Even when I don’t have something I need to recycle, I enjoy exploring the app by category because the lists get me thinking about recycling things I hadn’t considered recyclable, like carpet and carpet padding.
All of the information in the app is also in Earth911.com’s recycling section, but the app is more convenient when you’re on a mobile device.
I encourage you to download the app because I’m sure you’ll glean some useful information that will help you divert trash from your waste stream and be a little greener.