What do i do with…

  

Appliances

Large appliances (refrigerators, washers, diswashers)
There are several options for recycling large appliances:

refrigerator artWARNING:

Refrigerators, freezers and dehumidifiers contain hazardous substances! Appliances such as refrigerators, freezers and dehumidifiers contain a number of hazardous substances including refrigerants. Only recycle these appliances with businesses that have certified refrigerant removal technicians.

  1. Backhaul — Most appliance retailers will take back and recycle your old appliance when they deliver its replacement. Ask your appliance retailer what recycling options they offer.
  2. Recycle — If you’re installing a new appliance yourself, or just have an old appliance you want to get rid of, consider taking it to any of the following: scrap metal dealers, used appliance dealers, Midwest Recycling Center, Independence Recycling Centers, landfills, or transfer stations.
  3. Reuse — If your old appliance still works, there may be no need to recycle it. Contact a used appliance dealer or Habitat ReStore to find out if it can be reused. You can also list it on CraigsList or FreeCycle.org.

Small appliances (coffee makers, hair dryers, vacuum cleaners)

  1. Recycle — Small appliances that are no longer working can be recycled at The Surplus Exchange or Midwest Recycling Center.
  2. Donate — Small appliances that are in good working order can be donated to thrift stores.

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Automotive

There are several options for recycling automotive items:

  • Auto fluids — Motor oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant are all accepted by your local HHW program. Used motor oil from individuals is also accepted for free at most quick-lube and auto parts stores.
  • Auto parts — Used auto parts are accepted by used auto parts and automotive scrap dealers.
  • Auto salvage/wrecking — Non-working vehicles are accepted by many automotive scrap dealers and wrecking services.
  • Motor oil — Used motor oil from individuals is accepted for free at most quick-lube and auto parts stores. It is also accepted by your local HHW program.
  • Oil filters — Used oil filters are accepted at a number of quick-lube and auto parts stores.
  • Tires — Many tire retailers take back tires. Most charge a small fee for this service.
  • Vehicle donation — There are many charitable organizations that accept working and non-working vehicles for donation.

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Batteries

nine-volt battery artThere are several options for recycling batteries:

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Bicycles

Used bicycles can be donated to thrift stores, RevolveKC and the 816 Bicycle Collective.

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Books

Books (hard and paperback) are accepted in select curbside recycling programs, used book stores, thrift stores, and other for-profit and non-profit entities.
 
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kitchen sink art

Building Materials

There are several options for reusing new and used building materials:

  • Donate — Any type of item you would buy at a building supply store can be donated or purchased at a Habitat ReStore.
  • Deconstruct — Deconstruction is the process of hand-dismantling rooms, homes or buildings in order to salvage useable portions. The Habitat ReStore Kansas City uses trained and certified deconstruction contractors for whole-house removal. ReStore also has crews that handle partial deconstruction jobs like kitchen, bath and deck removal.
  • Landfill or transfer station — There are several landfills and transfer stations in the Kansas City metro area that recycle certain building materials, including metal, asphalt, concrete, wood waste and roofing materials. Landfills and transfer stations charge a fee for accepting materials.
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Break it down

Always break down boxes before recycling them to save space.


Cardboard & Paperboard

Corrugated and flat (paperboard) cardboard are accepted at area recycling centers and through your curbside recycling service. Check to see what service providers cover your community.

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Carpet & Padding

Many carpet installers recycle the carpet and padding they remove. Choose an installer that recycles. Currently there are no carpet and padding recycling options for do-it-yourselfers in the Kansas City metro area.

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Car Seats

What about clothing that is no longer wearable?

Go ahead and donate clothing that is torn, stained, worn out, etc., it will be recycled. Thrift stores contract with textile recycling companies that recycle all the clothing and textiles that can’t be sold or worn.

Car seats are not currently recyclable in the Kansas City metro area. They can be mailed to BabyEarth for recycling.

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Clothing, Shoes, & Accessories

All clothing, shoes and accessories are accepted at thrift stores and donation bins.

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Electronics (e-waste)

What’s the problem with e-waste?

electric plug art

Electronics can contain lead, mercury and various other chemicals and hazardous wastes. Properly reusing or recycling electronics prevents these metals and toxic materials from ending up in a landfill, hurting our environment and endangering public health. When you recycle electronics, valuable materials (metals, plastics and glass) are extracted and used for new products.

Anything that runs on a cord or batteries can be recycled:

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Exercise Equipment

Exercise equipment in good working condition is accepted at some thrift stores. It can be recycled at Midwest Recycling Center and the Independence Recycling Centers

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Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses that are in good shape can be donated to most thrift stores. Eyeglasses can also be recycled at Lions-Club sponsored collection boxes in your community. To find a box near you, contact your eye care center or your local Lions Club.

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Fabric & Sewing Supplies

Fabric and sewing supplies that are clean and in good condition can be donated to most thrift stores. 

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Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers can be recycled at:

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Food & Grease

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chair in good condition artFurniture

  • Usable furniture — Usable furniture can be donated to thrift stores and some Habitat ReStores.
  • Unusable furniture — Contact your trash hauler to find out about bulky item pickup for unusable furniture. If bulky item pickup is not available, unusable furniture can be taken to a landfill or transfer station.

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Glass

The following types of glass and glass-like items are reusable and/or recyclable throughout the metro area:

If it’s broken, don’t recycle it

With the exception of the types of glass accepted by Ripple Glass, if the glass or glass-like item you want to get rid of is broken, it is not recyclable and should be disposed of in the trash. Call your trash hauler for pickup of large pieces of broken glass and verify preparation requirements.

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Holiday Lights, Trees & Decorations

  • Holiday lights — Holiday lights can be recycled at The Surplus ExchangeMidwest Recycling Center and Southeast Enterprises.
  • Holiday trees — Natural holiday trees can be recycled at multiple drop-off locations starting Dec. 26 of each year.
  • Holiday decorations — Holiday decorations can be donated to thrift stores.

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Paint can with purple dot background art

Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)

HHW includes items such as paints, household cleaners, lawn and garden products, automotive fluids, bug sprays, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs and other chemical products. These flammable, toxic, corrosive or reactive items are labeled with danger, warning or caution. These items are accepted by your local HHW program.

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Household Items

Household items are accepted at thrift stores (all items) and donation bins (clothing and small household items only). Household items include:

  • Accessories — jewelry, belts, shoes, scarves, ties, hats
  • Audio recordings — Records, CDs
  • Books — hardback, paperback (no textbooks or encyclopedias)
  • Clothing — clothing and outerwear
  • Electronics — stereos, computers, printers, toasters, irons, coffee makers, clock radios, mp3 players
  • Exercise Equipment — free weights & racks, treadmills, elliptical machines, etc. Always call first, not all thrift stores accept. 
  • Housewares — dishes, silverware, pots, pans, baskets, tins, glassware
  • Lamps & Furniture
  • Linens — blankets, sheets, towels, curtains, drapes
  • Mechanical items — bikes, lawnmowers, weed-whackers
  • Sewing supplies — Fabric, supplies, notions
  • Toys

clothing iron art

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Lawn Equipment

Drain it

Always drain fluids from gas-powered lawn equipment before donating or recycling it.

Lawn mowers, trimmers, edgers, leaf blowers and other motorized lawn equipment in good working order, are accepted by some thrift stores. Lawn equipment can be recycled at Midwest Recycling Center and the Independence Recycling Centers. Lawn mowers can be recycled at some scrap metal dealers. 

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Light Bulbs

compact fluorescent bulb artMost types of household light bulbs (incandescent, halogen, LED) are not recyclable in the metro area and can be disposed in the trash. However, fluorescent tubes and compact bulbs (the “squiggly” ones) have mercury in them, which requires special handling. Both can be recycled through local household hazardous waste programs. Compact fluorescent bulbs can also be recycled at Batteries Plus Bulbs, Home Depot, and Lowe’s.

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Mattresses & Box Springs

Used mattresses can be donated or recycled:

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Medical Sharps

Medical sharps, such as needles, syringes, lancets and injection pens, are not recyclable. However, there are safe disposal options.

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Metal

All types of metal can be recycled:

  • Aluminum and steel cans — Aluminum and steel/tin cans are accepted at area recycling centers and through your curbside recycling service. Check to see what service providers serve your community.
  • Aluminum foil — Aluminum foil products (foil, pans, etc.) are accepted at select recycling centers.
  • Ferrous metals (contain iron and are magnetic)Scrap iron, steel and other iron alloys are accepted at scrap metal dealers.
  • Non-ferrous metals (do not contain iron and are non-magnetic)Scrap aluminum, brass, copper, zinc, lead, etc. are accepted at scrap metal dealers.

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Microwave Ovens

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Motor Oil

Used motor oil from individuals is accepted for free at most quick-lube and auto parts stores. It is also accepted by your HHW program.

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Paint

All types of paint (latex, oil, spray) are accepted by your local HHW program.

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Paper

All of the following are accepted at area recycling centers and through your curbside recycling service. Check to see what service providers serve your community:

Shred lightly

In general, loose shredded paper is difficult to sort from other recyclables you put in your home recycling bin: the pieces fall through the cracks of the sorting machines, stick to the belts, end up all over the floor and may not get recycled. TIP: Rip off and shred only the parts of sensitive documents that contain private information: credit card numbers, bank account information, or Social Security numbers. Put the rest of the page in the recycling bin intact.

  • Catalogs
  • Gift Wrap (no shiny or foil types)
  • Junk Mail
  • Magazines
  • Newspaper
  • Office Paper
  • Phone Books
  • Books — Reusable books are accepted at used book stores, thrift stores and the Rehabilitation Institute. Unusable books are accepted by select curbside recycling programs and the Rehabilitation Institute which also accepts outdated encyclopedias, textbooks and reference books for recycling.
  • Shredded Documents — Shredded paper is accepted for recycling in some curbside programs and drop-off locations. Always contact your hauler or recycling center first to confirm acceptability and preparation requirements.

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Plastic

Plastic resin code, HDPE 2 artMost plastics you purchase have the numbers 1-7 inside the chasing arrow symbol usually located on the bottom of the container. These numbers are resin codes. Just because a plastic item has a resin code on it, does not mean that it is recyclable in your area. Always confirm with your hauler or recycling center the types of plastics they accept. Check to see what service providers serve your community.

Visit our Plastics Recycling page for a detailed list of plastics that can and cannot be recycled in the Kansas City metro area.

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Prescription Drugs

There are several safe disposal options for expired, unwanted, or unused medicines.

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Pressurized Tanks

  • Gas/Barbeque Grill Tanks — You can exchange empty tanks for full tanks at Blue Rhino, Amerigas or other tank exchange locations. To recycle an old tank without getting a refill, you can either drop it off at a tank exchange location or take it to a scrap metal dealer that accepts pressurized tanks.
  • Camping Tanks — Camp stove and lantern tanks are accepted through your local HHW program and select scrap metal dealers.
  • Helium Tanks (disposable) — Properly prepare the tank for recycling by watching this video, then take it to a scrap metal dealer.
  • Fire Extinguishers — Fire extinguishers can be recycled at Keller Fire and Safety, The Red Force Fire and Security, and some scrap metal dealers (always call scrap metal dealers to check on preparation requirements).
  • Other Tanks — Pressurized industrial, medical and specialty gas tanks are most often accepted by the companies that sell them. Contact the company you purchased yours from to find out about return options.

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Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are not recyclable in the Kansas City metro area. Some smoke detector manufacturers offer recycling for their own brand. Contact your manufacturer for more information. There are also some mail-in options:

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StyrofoamTM

Only non-food grade Styrofoam (blocks, molds, coolers and peanuts) can be recycled at ACH Foam Technologies, 1400 N. 3rd St., Kansas City, KS, 66101, (913) 321-4114. No food-grade Styrofoam (coffee cups, meat trays, egg cartons, takeout containers, etc.) is recyclable in the Kansas City metro area.

Visit our Plastics Recycling page for a detailed list of Styrofoam that can and cannot be recycled in the Kansas City metro area.

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Tires

Many tire retailers take back tires. Most charge a small fee for this service.

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Toys

Toys that are clean and in good working order are accepted by thrift stores.

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Video & Audio Tapes

Video and audio tapes can be recycled at The Surplus Exchange and Alternative Community Training.

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Yard, Landscape & Food Waste

There are several options for composting your yard, landscape and food waste.

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That is not wax on the carton

There are two types of aseptic food and beverage cartons: shelf-stable and refrigerated. Refrigerated cartons are made from non-corrugated cardboard and coated with a thin layer of polyethylene, a type of plastic. The shelf-stable cartons contain a thin layer of aluminum which serves as an oxygen and light barrier.

“Wax” Cartons

All aseptic (“wax”) paper food and beverage containers (milk, juice, soup, broth, wine, etc.) are accepted at area recycling centers and through your curbside recycling service. Check to see what service providers serve your community.

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