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While decluttering, some stuff is easier to get rid of than others—literally.

We don’t just mean what a hard time you might have trying to sift through clothes you want to donate, but the stuff that’s actually difficult to discard like products that need to be recycled or disposed of safely due to environmental concerns.

You know what we’re talking about—batteries, paint, and the like. If you’ve been trying to clean out your house and get rid of some sensitive material but you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got a list here of common clutter and where to take it!


Old cell phones

We all have that home office desk drawer full of old Androids and outdated iPhones that have built up over the years, especially given how common smartphones have become, and while you might be convinced you’re holding onto one as a backup, it’s time to face how you don’t need them all. The easiest way to get rid of them is to find a Best Buy location that offers low-cost (or free) electronics recycling services. Barring that you could try to find an EcoATM kiosk in the mall to see if they can be traded in for any cash back, or contact a local recycling center to see if they take cell phones.


Rechargeable batteries

Similarly, if you’ve had to get your phone battery replaced, you’ve probably wound up stuck with the old one floating around your house, never quite sure what to do with it but not willing to throw it in the trash. You’re correct there—these things shouldn’t be thrown in the trash due to the metals inside them (the kind of stuff you don’t want in a landfill), so try to keep these somewhere safe and out of the reach of kids (like on high closet shelving) until you can contact a local recycling facility.


Non-rechargeable batteries

Ah yes, the old scourge of kitchen drawers everywhere—unloved single-use batteries. Maybe you’re sure you’ll need them someday, maybe you’re worried about disappointing the Energizer Bunny, but either way, all single-use batteries have a shelf life and will need to get ditched eventually. Similar to rechargeable batteries, you’re going to need to keep these somewhere safe until you contact either a local center or, in some communities, your local trash collectors to take them off your hands.


Glass jars, bottles, & containers

Glass is a sticky situation. Smaller glass bottles (like beverages) can be easily recycled down at your favorite supermarket in most parts of the country, but a lot of bigger ones like wine bottles and Mason jars don’t really have anywhere to go. This is where a little imagination can come in! Mason jars can be frequently reused for things like craft supplies, pens/pencils, and change jars; wine bottles can easily be turned into bird feeders or even spray bottles with the right attachments, and liquor bottles can be converted into DIY soap dispensers and oil lamps if you’re feeling crafty.


Leftover paint

Got some unused paint from that last redecorating project? A lot of home restoration companies will take donations of old paint to help with their projects (such as Habitat for Humanity), and so long as you keep it in an airtight container on durable, corrosion-proof chrome wire shelving (or other, similar shelves) it can last indefinitely until you can safely get rid of it, or repurpose it for painting a dresser or a doorframe the next time you feel crafty.


Old tires

Whether you’re an amateur mechanic or simply a biking enthusiast, old tires can be a pain to get rid of. The craftier types among you can turn them into fun tire swings, flower planters, or even ottomans. If you’re not feeling the upcycling, start calling mechanics and bike stores—a lot of places will happily buy your old tires off of you to resell later on to someone that needs them more.


Got any other handy recycling tips? Leave a comment below!

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