There are plenty of options for recycling in DC to reduce what materials go into the landfill. From offering items to your neighbors for free to donating for a cause or getting rid of toxic items, you’ll find everything you need to clean house with a clean conscious.
Community Forklift is a great place to get rid of your surplus building materials so they can be reused by others and stay out of the landfill. Community Forklift will take appliances, windows with the sashes installed, cabinets, laminate counter tops, ceiling fans, chemicals, powders, paints and pretty much anything vintage or antique. It’s also a great place to shop if you’re looking to remodel or refresh your home. Reusing material is better than recycling because even recycling has an energy cost associated with it, whereas reusing is a more environmentally friendly method.
The best way to recycle is to reuse. But if it’s something that you don’t have a use for, just go by the old saying of ‘one man’s waste is another’s treasure.’ Meeting fellow recyclers is as easy as subscribing to the group Freecycle DC. This community-driven posting board is full of those offering items and those looking for items. Part of the culture is the porch pickup. Leaving the items out on the porch means you don’t have to be home in order to help out your fellow Washingtonian.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Whether you’re doing a remodeling of your home or just getting rid of a piece of furniture you no longer want, the Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a great place to donate gently used items that will be sold at the store with the proceeds benefiting the charity Habitat for Humanity. Offering products for your bathroom, kitchen or living room, you can find real treasures like at a thrift store. It’s a great way to keep items out of the landfill and at the same time help a great cause.
Household Hazardous Waste
While it may not seem so, hazardous waste include electronics like batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, cell phones and computers that contain highly toxic chemicals that can leach into the groundwater and contaminate an area. Offered on the first Saturday of each month during the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. and and the first Thursday of each month between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., you can drop off your e-cycling and hazardous waste at the Fort Totten Transfer Station.
Washington, DC offers curbside recycling for residents in the District. Recycling practically everything you can give, DC will take containers many other programs won’t, like milk cartons, plastic bags and all types of plastic containers. Unfortunately, DC will not recycle styrofoam, including food containers and foam peanuts. It also cannot recycle pizza boxes.
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Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture
Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.