What NOT to Do With Your Junk
Finally! Your spring cleaning done and you’re patting yourself on the back. You’ve turned the house upside down and gotten rid of last years’ junk: Boxes of old toys, dusty exercise machines, useless boxes of cables, and sad unfinished Pinterest projects you’ll never get to.
But now your stuff has no home. Even if you are not sure yet how to dispose of your junk, please remember what not to do when throwing out your junk.
LEAVE IT ON THE STREET
- Leaving our junk on the curb with a “FREE” sign seems like a good idea in the short run. It frees you from the responsibility of disposal and gives other thrifty passer-byers a shot at turning your trash into treasure. For one or two items, this is OK if the item is in good shape. But once we cross the territory into larger piles or randomness, others will be weary to pick it up. For fear of mold, bedbugs, exposure to the weather and animals, the ‘free’ aspect no longer seems appealing.
- If you live in the Pacific Northwest, rain damage is a swift and inevitable downfall. Not to mention, any uncollected items get picked up by the sanitation department and send straight to the landfill. Just be patient. Consider donation centers, charities or ask a friendly neighbor if they are interested before leaving it on your curbside.
DUMP IT ANY OL’ WHERE
- Fact: All junk is recyclable in some way . It just takes a little consideration on your part. Boxes of electronics? Old clothes? Scrap metals, wood or plastics? We are fortunate enough today that there are countless facilities to recycle e-waste (a quick Google search will provide lists of services in your area). Old clothes are happily accepted at donation locations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army.
- Junk removal services like this one are happy to haul away your raw materials to the proper facilities. The main point: Don’t dump your junk in alleyways, on the corner or on any side of the road. There are donation centers and charities that will gladly find your items a home–a little of your effort can make all of the difference.
- Remember, just because it can burn, doesn’t mean it should be burned. The Department of Ecology has come a long way in understanding the effects of burning raw materials. Other than for cooking or approved wood burning for heat, burning raw materials like old envelopes, plastic, rubber, plywood, leaves, chemicals, etc. causes serious damage to your health and environment. The toxic smoke produced by burning plastic affects air quality and breathing. The ash from these burned materials absorb into your plants and soil, leaving them toxic and unhealthy.
- While burning compost is not entirely a dangerous practice, it is not recommended because residual pesticides, weed treatments and man-made chemicals used to treat paper is damaging to the ozone layer and air quality. Look into compost pickup, paper shredding, and junk removal services for the remainder of your man-made items. You’ll feel great knowing you’re helping the environment!