A Holiday for Getting Rid of Stuff

On America Recycles Day, groups around the country show you how to offload items you can't put in the recycling bin.
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Here's a holiday you probably don't have marked on your calendar: America Recycles Day on Nov. 15.

It's worth noting. You don't have to spend any money. And rather than winding up with a necktie or slippers that you don't want, you might find a way to get rid of stuff you

really

don't want.

National retail chains and local municipalities often have special recycling events on and leading up to ARD, so it's a good opportunity to responsibly dispose of miscellaneous items you've had lying around the house that you aren't sure how to get rid of.

The National Recycling Coalition promotes

America Recycles Day

on its Web site. It provides links where you can learn about ARD events around the country, but the information is provided by local recycling organizations and is a little uneven.

Beyond that, here are a few seasonal and perennial ways to get rid of items that could stand to be recycled more often than they are:

Telephones

I wrote over the summer about how tricky it is to

recycle a landline

. Programs that take all sorts of other electronics tend to overlook phones.

But from now until Nov. 15, you can take your

telephone

to any

Staples

(SPLS)

for recycling, in addition to the computer equipment, ink cartridges and cell phones that you can bring to the

office supply chain

for recycling any time.

Rechargeable Batteries

This is easy.

Radio Shack

(RSH)

,

Office Max

(OMX)

,

Circuit City

(CC) - Get Report

,

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

and

Rite-Aid

(RAD) - Get Report

all take them, as do many cell-phone stores.

The

Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corp.

can give you a list of stores near you that take batteries from cameras, cell phones, laptops, PDAs and even handheld power tools.

Disposable Batteries

This was a tougher challenge. According to Earth 911, some Radio Shacks, Best Buys and

Whole Foods

(WF) - Get Report

take them, but the stores' Web sites suggested otherwise. It might be worth inquiring at your local outlet if for no other reason than to put the idea in their heads.

Battery Solutions

is a private company that recycles batteries and small electronics. For $24 the company will send a postage-paid, addressed box that you can fill with items you want recycled and mail it back for proper disposal.

Otherwise, the best you can do is stay on the lookout for local recycling events where batteries are accepted and consider switching as soon as possible to rechargeables, which have other advantages that I

talked about

last week.

Ink Cartridges

On the

Hewlett Packard

(HP) - Get Report

Web site, you can order postage-paid boxes or envelopes for returning cartridges to the company.

Staples will automatically send you a new printer cartridge every time you mail back an old one for recycling through its Inkdrop program. The service is free, but you, of course, have to pay for new cartridges.

In exchange for ink cartridges,

Office Depot

(ODP) - Get Report

gives $3 coupons that you can put toward replacements.

Compact Florescent Bulbs

Mercury makes these bulbs tricky to throw away, and most curbside recycling programs don't take them yet.

But Ikea says it has bins located in all of its U.S. stores for collecting dead CFLs. You can bring CFLs to the returns desk at

Home Depot

(HD) - Get Report

.

Miscellaneous Doodads

If you have other hard-to-recycle items around the house, such as televisions, paint, toys, tires, lawn products or computer peripherals like printers, check out

Earth 911

, which has a search function that lets you find local recycling resources all over the country.

Eileen P. Gunn writes about the business of life and is the author of "Your Career Is An Extreme Sport." You can learn more about her at

her Web site.