|Tanner on Trash Duty|
- Let's start with batteries. Some dog products use them to run motors (water fountains) and some owners use them for dog-related activities like playing calming music on a dinosaur cassette or CD player. I love Lisa Spector's piano music for both me and the dogs! Batteries--no matter which kind you're disposing of--don't go to landfills. They leak acids and toxins. Take them to the hazardous materials drop off point at your county's landfill or similar location. Just Google it! Better yet, use rechargeable batteries to reduce the number of batteries needed and the toxicity of the batteries themselves. Rechargeable batteries have come a long way in recent years, lasting longer and becoming much more affordable. You can check this out at these Amazon links for a recharger and batteries that are widely available at discount stores also.
- Medications are another matter. Ask your vet where you can dispose of unused or expired meds in your area. Reduce the amount of this by keeping an inventory of what you have at home. Often you'll be prescribed a repeat and find you already had some left over. Many municipalities offer medication disposal drop off days periodically. Another option is to check online for the safest ways to dispose of medications. There are some guidelines you can follow, but take care to follow them well. This stuff doesn't belong in our water supply!
- Hypodermic needles used for diabetic pets should be disposed of in appropriate SHARPS containers and turned into accepting facilities in your area when full. In our area, fire stations take drop offs, but many labs will also take your SHARPS containers for a small charge. Check local listings.
- Liquid home or garden chemicals: Please don't pour these down your drain. Our water treatment facilities are not set up to remove these products, so guess where they'll end up? Yup--our water supply. If you're going the green road by giving up Roundup (email me for info on greener herbicides), pesticides (ditto) or auto fluids, check with the experts. Most counties offer drop off days at multiple locations for used motor oil and anti-freeze (which are very toxic to fido). When I purged my traditional pesticides, I handed them off to a family that had no intention of switching. At least they saved money although I'll admit I got a stomach ache over it.
- CFL lightbulbs that light the home you share with your pets: The biggest beef about CFLs among consumers is that they've heard there is mercury in these. They are right. However, the amount of mercury is miniscule and can be removed by proper facilities that are in place especially for this purpose. CFLs are far superior in their green points than traditional incandescant bulbs, which have now been eliminated in much of the U.S. due to danger to our environment. CFLs need to be dropped off at a hazmat facility for proper handling. Call your local landfill for directions.
- Electronics like that dinosaur cassette player, broken DVD players, computers beyond repair, and the like, all have components that must be removed before disposal. Some manufacturers will handle this, but hazmat facilities do it also. Further, the plastics can often be recycled, which helps a bit in the grand scheme.
- Old cell phones that have kept you and fido safe on walks (you know, the ones they call DUMB phones) can be turned in at many office supply stores and Home Depots. Remove your SIM card and attach the battery and charger with a rubberband. These can be used as emergency phones, dialing only 911, for folks who can't afford a cell phone or choose not to purchase one.
- Old eyeglasses that have gotten you around on your dog walks for years are accepted at many eyeglass stores and by Lion's Clubs all over. They check the prescription and match them up with requests for glasses by needy families.
- I'm tossing this one in here, even though it doesn't pertain at all to pets. Wine bottle corks can be recycled as a naturally-occurring product. Google a facility near you and when you've collected a box, drop a label on it and off they go to cork heaven for a new life as a bulletin board.
- Brita filters used for your pet's filtered water (and probably other brands too) can be turned in at Whole Foods Markets or mailed back to Brita for recycling. These are cleaned, refurbished (sorry, I don't have a lot of details on this process) and made ready to resell so that the plastic and filtering materials don't all go to waste. I hope you're all using filtered water in your pet bowls. City water can and often does have a chlorine cloud that may not set well with your pets, especially over the long term. Watch for tell-tale neurological symptoms and see your vet if Fido has any new or worsening odd behaviors.
- Most certainly I've missed a few. This list incorporates most of my own family's items, but you may have others. Feel free to share your knowledge and tell us how you dispose properly. #browniepoints
|This Week's Drop Off: |
Light Bulbs, Batteries, Phones + Electronics
|Tanner and Oliver Will Tag Along|
Grab a #freebie: Take your hazardous materials to a #hazmat facility. Send your pic: AllThingsDogBlog@gmail.com pic.twitter.com/vcQguSF3X9
— Carrie Boyko (@AllThingsDog) July 4, 2014