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Instagrammer shares simple hack for getting rid of your old junk: 'I was surprised at how many options there were'

This resource can easily help crush your recycling woes.

Earth911.com, Hack for getting rid of your old junk

Photo Credit: @naturallyannaatwater / Instagram

Here is another interesting way to dispose of your unwanted items while keeping them out of a landfill.

An Instagram reel by Anna Atwater (@naturallyannaatwater) shows viewers a U.S.-based eco-friendly service for getting rid of items that may no longer be useful to us.

"The three R's aren't just for glass jars. Here's an eco-tip," Atwater says.

The scoop

The reel begins with Atwater showing a bundle of string lights that she says are "very dead." 

She opens the page Earth911.com on her laptop, which she says "is a great resource if you have something that can't be donated or given away, but you want to see if you can give it another chance before it goes straight to the landfill."

She goes on to browse the page and shows potential users how it works by clicking on "Where to Recycle," looking at the categories, and plugging in a location to find where used items can be dropped off.

How it's helping

Each year, American households produce around 300 million tons of trash, or around 5 pounds per person daily. 

With regards to materials like plastics, which are a component in nearly every household item today, only a very small percentage is recycled. The rest can linger in the environment for hundreds of years before breaking down. 

In the U.S., around 29 million tons of garbage is burned on an annual basis, which releases harmful planet-warming pollution into the air. This air pollution is extremely harmful to human health and increases the risk of respiratory infections, heart disease, and lung cancer, according to the World Health Organization

Earth911 describes itself as "the largest recycling database in the nation — probably the world." The organization says it works "every day to help you make small, simple changes that will reduce the environmental impact of your life, work, and shopping." 

What's everyone saying

The comments and questions keep pouring in.  

"Must be nice for people who live in big cities and also have a car," one commenter wrote. 

Atwater responded by saying, "I used it while I was visiting my parents in rural Maryland and I was surprised at how many options there were." 

"Is there a way to force businesses to do this with their materials? Putting the weight on consumers to save the world by recycling old Christmas lights is kind of silly," another commenter added. 

Another person said, "I do this all the time. We have a place called Haz Man and they take paint, electronics, light wires, etc. They take anything not normally recycled. We all have to do our part. If you can't or won't, then give it to someone who will." 

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