Make a difference: recycle!

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It doesn't take much to make a difference to your family's recycling habits. Chances are, you already put your old papers in the allocated bin and rinse out your used tins and put them in the recycling, but there are more ways to help the environment.
What can you recycle?
The usual recycling items include all glass jars and bottles, aluminum and steel cans, PET plastic soft-drink bottles and HDPE plastic milk and detergent bottles. You can also include paper, light cardboard, newspapers and junk mail, milk and fruit juice cartons.
But what about those items that stop being useful and can't be put in the traditional recycling bins? Waste like old mobile phones and batteries can be damaging to the environment if left to disintegrate in land fill. So what can you do to recycle these items?
Mobile phones:
Most of us have a spare mobile phone lying discarded under the bed or in the kitchen drawer. Rather than let it build up dust, or throw it into the bin where it will end up in landfill, take it to your nearest mobile muster recycling centre. You can take your unwanted phone to your nearest drop-off point , download a mailing label or pick up an envelope from your nearest Australia Post and let Mobile Muster look after the recycling for you.
Another common household object that cannot be readily recycled is a battery. They contain a number of toxic elements, including nickel, alkaline, mercury and lead acid, all of which are potentially damaging to the environment if not discarded properly.
Batteries that end up in landfill leak into the ground and put animals and humans at risk. To reduce this, there are a number of things your family can do:
1. Reduce your household battery use
2. Buy rechargeable batteries, they can be used up to 1000 times, which also saves you money as well as helping the environment
As Australia doesn't have a national recycling scheme in place yet, it is up to us to make sure these harmful products are kept out of landfill. There are a number of outlets that will take the batteries off your hands and recycle them. Batteryback is a free battery recycling program for rechargeable batteries and household single-use batteries: 1800 353 233
Reading glasses:
Approximately 30 percent of Australians use glasses to assist their sight; that's a lot of pairs of glasses. This year, OPSM has teamed up with OneSight to encourage Australians to give away their old, unwanted pairs of glasses. There are 250 million people around the world who do not have access or cannot afford basic eye-care and, by recycling yours at an OPSM store; you're helping to make a difference.
Your donated eyewear is cleaned, repaired and classified by prescription and then hand-delivered to disadvantaged communities through OneSight clinics in Thailand, Cambodia, India, Mexico and South Africa.
Take your unwanted glasses to your nearest OPSM store to help make a difference to those who cannot get the eye-care they need. The OneSight appeal will run until 8 November 8, 2009.

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