When you take ownership of a flip house oftentimes it’s filled with junk. Before you can perform regular demo you’ve got to clear out all of the odds and ends left behind. If you choose to recycle some of those items you might be surprised by what’s considered to be unsuitable for pick up by your local recycler. Here are some items on that list.

Plastic Toys

Since hard plastic toys aren’t placed in the same category as plastic food packaging they tend not to be stamped with recycling codes. This makes it hard to identify their components, and for that reason they’re not acceptable to most local recyclers. If the toys you find in your flip are clean and functional you can give them a second life by donating them to shelters, child care centers, and thrift stores.

Hardcover Books

Before you think about tossing out books you can always donate them to a library, charity, or thrift store. While paperbacks are fit to be recycled, hardbacks are not because the cloth, leather, and plastic binding that’s used to make them durable isn’t easily separated from the pages.

Electronics Cables

While you can’t toss your rats’ nests of found electronic cables into the recycler, you may be able to dispose of them at your local electronics retailer. Items like rechargeable batteries, adapters, wires, chords, and other accessories, may be accepted.

CDs and CD Cases

CDs and their cases are comprised of something called #7 plastic, which is a general category for plastics made from multi-layered resins. These resins sometimes contain trace amounts of an additive called BPA (bisphenol A), which could pose serious health risks. CDs won’t be accepted by many curbside recyclers. You can offload them by mailing them to CD Recycling Center of America.

CFL Bulbs

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain trace amounts of mercury which is released as soon as they break, making them unsafe for curbside recycling. For this reason they shouldn’t be placed in the trash, either—in some states it’s even unlawful to do so. Many major retail hardware stores have collection bins to receive items like this. Contact your local hardware store.

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