Friday, August 29, 2008

How to Recycle Anything

How to Recycle Anything
Make your home more earth-friendly--one trash bag at a time.
By Amanda MacMillan
Full story

America has had some trashy affairs: In 1969, Ohio's garbage- and oil-laden Cuyahoga River was so polluted it caught fire. Eighteen years later, a stranded trash barge sailed the East Coast for 7 months, searching for a landfill where it could unload more than 3,000 tons of waste. Six states and three countries turned it away before the cargo was eventually incinerated.

We've cleaned up our act considerably, thanks to national recycling efforts and stricter disposal laws. And we've earned a big health payoff: For instance, in the past decade, there has been a 45% reduction in cancer risk in California, due in part to the decrease in air and water pollutants, reports the Air Resources Board. Nevertheless, there's more work to do. In 2003, the average American generated almost 4.5 pounds of garbage each day, up from nearly 3.3 pounds in 1970. And about 70% went into dumps or incinerators, not the recycling bin. But with a little research, you can recycle almost anything--last night's dinner, last season's technology, or even that fuchsia bridesmaid dress from the last millennium. Here, 21 things not to trash.

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