How to recycle everything

How to recycle everything

Maybe it's not this easy in the U.S., but there are places to recycle almost everything -- if you know where to look. (Photo via stock.xchng user renato2004)

Everyone knows how to recycle certain items. Newspaper gets bundled and set by the curb. Glass bottles get tossed in the recycle bin.

But what about your old stack of VHS tapes? Any way to recycle those?

Check out a list of where to recycle everything from the mundane to the very strange in York County. If you have something to add — or a question we didn’t address here — let us know in a comment below.

  • Automobiles: J&K Salvage in Spring Garden Township (717-843-3672) will tow your vehicle for you, or accept ones brought in by owners.
  • Baby items: Can be donated to Re-Source York’s 405 Carlisle Ave. location, Salvation Army, Goodwill or other local thrift stores.
  • Books: Can be donated to Re-Source York’s 405 Carlisle Ave. location, Salvation Army, Goodwill or local bookstores. Find a list of independently owned bookstores in York County here.
  • Building materials: ReSource York, 161 E. Ninth Ave.
  • Cellphones: Can be recycled via the Electronic Recycling Program every third Saturday, or donated to “Hope Line,” a program sponsored by Verizon that provides cellphones for domestic violence prevention programs. Bring it to any Verizon retail store in York County. A handful of York County businesses also accept cellphones for recycling. Find a list via the York County Solid Waste Authority.
  • Christmas trees: Accepted Dec. 26 through Jan. 31 at the Authority’s Yard Waste Transfer Facility located off Flour Mill Road in Manchester Township. Also often included in municipal curbside programs; call your municipality’s office for details. Other drop-off sites include H&H Excavating in Spring Grove (717-225-4669), Spring Valley Mulch in Dover (717-292-3476) and Mighty Oak Mulch in Wrightsville (717-244-3099). Call for hours.
  • Cookware, dinnerware, small kitchen appliances: Can be donated to Re-Source York’s 405 Carlisle Ave. location, Salvation Army or Goodwill.
  • Electronics: An Electronics Recycling Program is held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. the third Saturday of each month at the Authority’s Yard Waste Transfer Facility located off Flour Mill Road in Manchester Township. Includes items from answering machines to microwave ovens. Find a full list of accepted items at YCSWA.
  • Fabric, rags, soiled clothes: Don’t be afraid to donate these items to the local Salvation Army or Goodwill. If the items are unsellable in their stores, they can sell them to the rag market, which then repurposes them into new textiles.
  • Furniture and home decor: Can be donated to Re-Source York’s 405 Carlisle Ave. location or its 161 E. Ninth Ave. location, Salvation Army or Goodwill.
  • Glass, plastic and metal food containers: Plastics #1 through #7; clear, brown and green glass; and aluminum, steel and aerosol cans are all collected in most municipal curbside programs. Check the YCSWA website for details on your borough or township.
  • Medications: To find locations that accept unused or expired medications, visit www.dea.gov. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 28, York County residents can drop them at the Giant Food Store at 2130 Palomino Road, Dover; Giant Food Stores at 801 Baltimore St. and 455 Eisenhower Drive, Hanover; Giant Food Store at 3175 Cape Horn Road, Red Lion; and Giant Food Stores at 1255 Carlisle Road and 275 Pauline Drive, York.
  • Motor oil, antifreeze, kerosene & gasoline: A handful of York County businesses will accept these used products. Find a list via the YCSWA here.
  • Packing peanuts: Check with your local post office. In a 2010 “green” post, Postal Connections and The UPS Store in York, and Goin’ Postal in Dillsburg, all said they would accept peanuts and reuse them for packing.
  • Paper, paperboard and cardboard: Everything from phone books and pizza boxes to magazine inserts and paper towel rolls gets collected in municipal curbside programs. Check out the YCSWA for details on your borough or township.
  • Paint: Latex or oil-based paint can be placed in your regular garbage for pick-up. Seal the containers tightly to prevent spillage and place in a closed garbage bag. Many haulers prefer that paint and paint products be dried, hardened or mixed with an absorbent material such as shredded paper or kitty litter to minimize potential impacts. Further details can be found via the YCSWA; contact your waste hauler directly for its specific requirements.
  • Plastic: Advance Polymer Control in Springfield Township (717-227-4900) accepts pretty much any kind of plastic for recycling. The company shreds people’s unwanted plastic and sells it to a concrete company, which uses the shredded plastic to heat its kiln.
  • Plastic bags: Everything from furniture wrap to the bags that protect your newspaper from rain can be recycled at many local grocery stores. Find a list of what can be recycled (you’d be surprised) and a list of local options here.
  • Rechargeable batteries: A handful of York County businesses accept rechargeable batteries for recycling. Find a list via the YCSWA.
  • Wine corks: A Missouri company accepts mailings, but you can also try your hand at a craft from used corks.
  • Wood pallets: Both Spring Valley Mulch in Dover (717- 292-3476) and H&H General Excavating in Spring Grove (717-225-4669) accept donated wood pallets.
  • Yard waste: Leaves, garden residues, shrubbery, tree trimmings and tree stumps less than 12 inches in diameter accepted at the Resource Recovery Center, 2651 Blackbridge Road, Manchester Township. Modern Landfill in Windsor and Lower Windsor Townships (717-246-2686) and H&H General Excavating in Spring Grove (717-225-4669) accept stumps larger than 12 inches in diameter. Spring Valley Mulch in Dover (717- 292-3476) also accepts yard waste from the public.

One fabulous Internet resource for additional questions is earth911.com, a website where you can enter your item and your zip code, and it will spit back a handful of local places that accept the item for recycling.

Sarah Chain

I'm an avid reader and book lover living and working in downtown York. Follow me on Twitter at @sarahEchain.

You may also like...

2 Responses

  1. I have a bunch of old CD CASES that I’m trying to recycle. I know some places recycle CDs, but these are just empty cases. I can’t use all of them for crafts or decor. I’ve found a few sites, which you can ship CD cases to, but it’s kind of pricey. I feel like I’m out of options…

  2. Sarah Chain says:

    Erin, if they’re plastic (which I assume they are), you could try Advance Polymer Control in Springfield Township (717-227-4900). A 2011 YDR business article quoted them as accepting pretty much any kind of plastic.

Leave a Reply