There’s a lot of great things that happen over the holidays, from office parties to family gatherings to wonderful meals. And, of course, all those terrific presents under the tree.
It’s also the time of year when we have more than our usual share of trash to get rid of. From discarded wrapping paper to boxes to unwanted decorations, January is a time when we really give our local trash collectors a workout.
Of course, there’s a great way to reduce the amount of trash we have to dispose of in the weeks following the holidays. And that’s through recycling. A lot of the items that are unique to the holidays, from your Christmas tree to your holiday cards, can be recycled. This helps reduce the amount of trash you leave out.
There’s something else to look for around this time of year, as you begin sorting through trash and the things that can be recycled. Scrap metal is in high demand today. That’s because it can be reused and made into new products.
It’s also the kind of waste that you don’t want to end up in a landfill. Products that contain metals also contain chemicals like lead and mercury. They’re toxic and pose dangers to the environment if they’re tossed into landfills. Those toxic chemicals represent a serious danger to the soil, water, and wildlife in the area.
So before you begin pitching what you’ve accumulated over the holidays and no longer need, here’s some important steps to take.
Recycling once the holidays are over
Every year, Americans purchase up to 2.65 billion holiday cards. It’s been estimated that’s enough to fill a football field.
And then there’s all that gift wrap we have left over from the holidays. Some people may not know both items can be recycled. That’s also true with catalogs and gift boxes.
Then there are other items, like packaging Styrofoam, tinsel and packing peanuts, that are not recyclable and go into your trash.
Finally there are items that fall into a third category. You can definitely recycle them. And you might be surprised to know, they also contain metals.
A good example is broken or unneeded holiday lights.
Recycling holiday lights
If you have a pile of burned-out holiday lights, or if you’re simply planning to discard the ones you have this year (perhaps with the aim of getting more energy-efficient LED lights next year), don’t throw those lights away.
You can recycle them – but not in your recycling bin.
While most recycled trees are turned into wood chips or compost, the lights, wire, ornaments and nails in your tree are recyclable. String lights in particular are great for recycling because of the copper they contain.
So keep that in mind before you toss them out.
Replacing your appliances
The holidays can also be a time when the retailers and big box stores mark down their prices, and offer those unbelievable sales bargains. That’s great when you’re out with your holiday shopping list. But it’s also a great time of year when people take advantage of those marked down prices to replace their appliances. So often times around the holidays, people are welcoming in their new stove, dishwasher, microwave oven, and maybe even a new car.
The outdated items are recyclable because they contain plenty of scrap metal and can be easily recycled at a firm like GLE Scrap Metal.
Those appliances all contain different metals that can be safely recycled.
Sadly, when kitchen appliances get replaced, they’re often thrown onto the curb for the garbage collectors to pick up. But even large appliances like refrigerators, stoves, freezers, washers, and dryers have parts that are ideal for scrap metal recycling. And a lot of appliances that no longer work can be used for scrap metal as well. This process involves removing harmful or toxic elements and iron from the appliance,. And then the body or case can be re-used.
That’s why it’s important to partner with a responsible and environmentally-sensitive recycling firm like GLE Scrap.
The same is true for other items, including computers, cell phones, smart phones, and electronic devices. These are very popular gift items during the holidays. And that means people have a lot of older, used items to get rid of as they replace them with newer models.
It’s the same story: you absolutely don’t want to throw any of these out with your trash and send them to a landfill. By sending them to a recycler, the metals within them can be broken down, removed, and re-used.
Your household no doubt contains plenty of items that have ferrous and non-ferrous metals. If you no longer want the item or have gotten new brands over the holidays, the scrap metal within them can be used in new products. That’s what makes them appealing to recycling firms.
Once the holidays are over and a new year has started, a lot of people make new years resolutions. Everything from losing weight to exercising more to learning new skills often top people’s list.
Another great resolution for all of us would be to recycle more. If you’re in the regular habit of filling your recycling bin with plastics, cans, newspapers and other small items, that’s great.
But there’s a lot more we can all do when we recycle, and that includes being aware of what household items we want, and no longer need, that contain scrap metal.
Then we need to make a commitment to keep those items out of our household trash. Instead, bring them to a recycling firm instead.
GLE Scrap Metal performs environmentally-friendly processing and recycling of all base and precious metals. And this family-owned and operated business maintains a zero-landfill policy to help conserve energy.
With the holidays now behind us, this is a great year to begin recycling your scrap metal. Do it with GLE, a company that ensures your excess materials don’t go to waste.
Call GLE Scrap Metal today at 855-SCRAP-88 to request a quote.