12 Items You Should Always Keep Out of the Trash

This post may contain affiliate links.

Have you ever paused before throwing something out and wondered if it truly belongs in the trash? You’re not alone. Many everyday items we casually toss can have significant environmental and health impacts.  Here are twelve items that should never be in the trash, enabling you to make more eco-friendly decisions.


Image Credit: Dazeley

Batteries contain harmful chemicals like lead, cadmium, and mercury. These substances can leak into the ground, contaminating soil and water sources. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 3 billion batteries are thrown away yearly in the U.S. alone.

You can take your used batteries to designated recycling centers. Many electronics stores and community centers offer battery recycling programs. Consider rechargeable batteries as a more sustainable option.


photo by craftyourhappyplace

Electronics, or e-waste, contain valuable materials like gold and copper but also harmful chemicals. The Global E-waste Monitor reports that 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste were generated in 2019, with only 17.4% being recycled. Donate working electronics to charities or sell them online.

For broken items, find a local e-waste recycling program. Companies like Best Buy and Staples offer e-waste recycling services. Before disposing of electronics, ensure all personal data is wiped clean. This prevents data breaches and identity theft.

Light Bulbs

13 Ways You’re Wasting Energy at Home (and How To Stop!)
Image Credit: craftyourhappyplace

Both fluorescent and LED bulbs contain materials that shouldn’t end up in landfills. Fluorescent bulbs have mercury, while LEDs contain small amounts of heavy metals.

Many hardware stores and recycling centers accept used light bulbs for proper disposal. Recycling them helps prevent toxic substances from entering the waste stream.


paint tray white and aluminum
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Leftover paint can be a challenge to dispose of, and simply throwing it away isn’t a good option. Many types of paint contain harmful chemicals that can contaminate soil and water. Instead, look for paint recycling programs in your area.

Some communities have special collection days for household hazardous waste, including paint. You can also donate usable paint to local organizations or community groups.


Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Flushing old medications down the toilet or throwing them in the trash can pose serious health and environmental risks. Pharmaceuticals have the potential to pollute water sources and endanger marine ecosystems.

Instead, take advantage of drug take-back programs or drop-off locations at pharmacies. These programs ensure medications are disposed of safely and securely.


Things You Need to Stop Hoarding Today
Image provided by mali maeder

Not all plastics are created equal, and many types can’t be recycled through curbside programs. Single-use plastics, plastic bags, and styrofoam often require special recycling processes.

Check with your local recycling facility to see which plastics they accept. Many grocery stores also have drop-off bins for plastic bags and other flexible plastics.


Image provided by mali maeder

While most glass containers can be recycled, broken glass, light bulbs, and certain types of glassware often can’t. Properly dispose of broken glass securely by wrapping it and checking local disposal guidelines.

Many recycling programs accept glass bottles and jars, but specialty glass items may require different handling.


How to Recycle Textiles: 16 Brands That Recycle Clothes
Provided by The Thrifty Apartment

Clothing, shoes, and other textiles don’t belong in the trash. Many items can be donated, repurposed, or recycled. Look for textile recycling programs or donation bins in your community.

Some retailers also offer discounts or incentives for recycling old clothing. By keeping textiles out of the landfill, you reduce waste and support sustainable fashion practices.


12 Spring Cleaning Mistakes You Keep Making Every Year
Image provided by: Maksim Goncharenok

Old appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and washing machines contain valuable materials and hazardous components. Many retailers offer take-back programs when you purchase a new appliance.

Alternatively, check with local recycling facilities or scrap metal dealers. Proper disposal ensures that harmful substances are handled safely and valuable materials are recovered.


Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Tires are bulky and take a long time to break down in landfills. They can also leach harmful chemicals into the environment. Many tire retailers offer recycling services when you purchase new tires.

Additionally, local recycling centers often accept old tires. By recycling tires, you help reduce waste and support producing new rubber products.

Household Cleaners

Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Numerous household cleaning products harbor chemicals that harm human health and the environment. It is important not to dispose of them by pouring them down the drain or tossing them in the trash.

Instead, seek out hazardous waste collection events or facilities within the community. Proper disposal is vital to prevent these harmful chemicals from contaminating water supplies or endangering wildlife.

Cooking Oil

Things You Won’t Be Seeing in Grocery Stores Anymore
Image by NYC Subway Rider

Pouring cooking oil down the drain can result in pipe blockages and harm wildlife. The EPA states that fats, oils, and grease cause up to 47% of sewer overflows in the U.S. After allowing cooking oil to cool and solidify, transfer it into a container for disposal in the trash.

Alternatively, some recycling centers accept used cooking oil for biofuel production. Consider composting small amounts of used cooking oil. It can be a valuable addition to your compost pile.

How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling in 7 Easy Steps

Image Credit: Frenz

Popcorn ceilings were once the height of home decor fashion. But trends change. Today, these textured ceilings are seen as outdated and can even pose health risks.

How to Remove Popcorn Ceiling in 7 Easy Steps

14 Useless Items In Your Bathroom That Need To Hit The Trash Immediately

Renter Friendly Bathroom Makeover Ideas
Image Credit:thethriftyapartment

The bathroom is one place where you likely recharge and rejuvenate. Despite its significance in our daily routine, it’s not uncommon for clutter, disorder, and items that have overstayed their welcome to accumulate in this space.

14 Useless Items In Your Bathroom That Need To Hit The Trash Immediately

Kick These 13 Poor Cleaning Habits to the Curb

Image Credit:thethriftyapartment

It’s surprisingly easy to fall into poor cleaning habits without even noticing. Several habits can negatively affect your cleaning effectiveness, whether skipping the cleaning of frequently used items or using harsh cleaning products.

Kick These 13 Poor Cleaning Habits to the Curb

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *