Dear Recycle Lady,
Can cameras be recycled?
Dear Photo Specialist,
You didn’t say whether your cameras were film or digital cameras, but both can be recycled locally. Take them to the Recycling Center and go in the doorway marked Aluminum Cans. Push the large button on the left-hand side of the door and someone will come to assist you. However, there are several other options you might want to consider before you recycle your cameras.
Check with your local high school or college to see if they teach photography as part of their art program. If you have darkroom equipment, they may also be interested in it. Another alternative would be a consignment shop or thrift store. The Americana may be a local option. You never know where or when a collector may stop by!
You might consider selling them on eBay or Craigslist. Retro photographers are always looking for old equipment. Additionally, there are several recycling programs specifically for digital cameras, such as Recycling for Charity. They also accept mobile phones and tablets. Digital cameras, as is true for all electronics, have valuable materials. According to https://recyclenation.com, microchips have gold and platinum, copper wiring and aluminum in the devices. Another option would be take-back programs sponsored by Canon, Samsung, Sony, and Kodak.
Dear Recycle Lady,
Last week I bagged all my cardboard in a dog food bag and took it to the Recycle Center. As I started to put the bag full of cardboard in the bin for cardboard a man there said I couldn’t put the bag full of cardboard in the bin. He didn’t say why, he just said I had to take the cardboard out of the bag first, then put it in the bin.
There are several reasons why you must remove the cardboard from the bag before you put the cardboard in the bin. The biggest reason is that the Center doesn’t have the staff, or time, to sort any recyclables, so all bagged recyclables must be sorted or put in the trash. Large cities have sorters, both equipment and personnel, but the local Recycling Center must depend on recyclers to do the sorting. Another factor is that the dog food bag you brought the cardboard in is not recyclable and becomes a contaminant if it is recycled with the cardboard. Sorting must be done before any recyclables are placed in the bins at the Recycling Center. You have taken the time to gather up the recyclables, so please take a couple more minutes and sort them into the proper bins. Many thanks to all the recyclers who sort everything every time they come to the Center. You are much appreciated.
Dear Recycle Lady,
Junk mail often contains not only paper, but it also may contain address labels or advertisements on glossy paper or “slicks.” Do these slicks need to be removed before I put the entire envelope in recycle? What about the address labels? Do they need to be removed?
Dear Slicks Remover,
Yes, both slicks and address labels must be removed before the envelope and its contents are put in with office paper. All glossy papers, or slicks, are put in with magazines. Address labels go in the trash. Some return envelopes are colored, and they go in with magazines. I use a letter opener to slice open the top of the envelope, then pull out all slicks and address labels, and recycle the rest of the envelope accordingly. This process doesn’t require much time once you are accustomed to it. If you are a recycler, but don’t have the time to open the envelopes and remove the slicks, just put the unopened envelopes in with the magazines. However, if the unopened envelope contains address labels, either remove the labels or put the envelope in the trash.
Have questions about recycling, or interesting information about recycling? Send questions or requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Dear Recycle Lady is sponsored jointly by the Greenbrier Recycling Center and Greenworks Recycling.