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Recycling 101 - 3.24.14

By LaVerne C. Paulson

Fri, Mar 21st, 2014
Posted in All Home & Garden

A lot of information from the Recycling Association of Minnesota (RAM), Call2Recycle, and Earth 911 has come to my attention lately and I thought you might find some of this interesting or helpful.

Amber perscription bottles are not recyclable in Fillmore County, however, they can be used to store earrings and other smaller jewelry, coins, or even extra garden seeds. For your security, be sure to remove all personal identification from the bottle before using it for other purposes. Just soak the bottle in warm water for a few minutes and then scrape the label off with a butter knife.

The average American uses 5.57 40 foot trees worth of paper each year. That’s about six good reasons to recycle as much paper and cardboard as possible. Recycling a ton of mixed paper can save the energy equivalent of 185 gallons of gasoline.

Many articles of clothing, such as jackets, scarves, gloves, and boots are made from recycled materials. Some shoe manufacturers recycle cotton scraps and rubber tires to make their products. For example, 63 20 ounce PET bottles will make a sweater, 14 bottles will make the fiber fill in a ski jacket, and one hundred 114 bottles will become fiber fill for a sleeping bag. Pop and water bottles do not belong in the landfill. There are many items that make very good use of recycled plastic beverage containers, one being the fuzz on tennis balls.

I am seeing more and more reusable canvas and cloth bags being used by the ever growing “Bag Brigade.” We just have to remember to put them back into the car when emptied....and then remember to take them with us when we go into the store.

Are your cell phone batteries not holding a charge? Hot batteries drain faster than cool ones. Don’t leave your phone in a hot place, like a car on a summer day, in your pocket, or on top of a lap top. Cold temperatures can also affect batteries, but not as much as heat. If your phone is hot to the touch, it is not running efficiently. Keep it cool and remember to recycle those cell phone batteries when they are no longer used.

When you purchase new holiday lights next year, you may want to get LED lights. According to the Department of Energy, using a group of LED lights for 10 years would cost about $18 compared with over $120 for incandescent bulbs. LEDs are safer, sturdier, last longer, and it has been said that you can connect up to 25 strings of LEDs end to end without overloading a wall socket. However, it may wise to read the instructions and warnings that accompany the lights.

Mark your calendar if you have not already done so. Household Hazardous Waste Day is Tuesday, May 6 this spring. It’s just a few weeks down the road.

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