THE BEST OF GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Test your recycling know-how

Do you know the proper way to get rid of household items? Test your knowledge with Good Housekeeping’s quiz. (Sandy Jones/istockphoto )

Take Good Housekeeping’s recycling quiz to test your know-how  and even learn how to get cash for your trash.

What’s the best way to get rid of an old cellphone?

A. Take it to a retail store’s collection box.

B. Donate it to a charity.

C. Turn it in for a rebate coupon or cash via an online exchange program.

Answer: All of the above. Most cellphone sellers will take old phones back. Contact to donate, or see if you can get cash or credit at

What’s the right thing to do with dead household batteries?

A. Recycle them in the metal recycling.

B. Take them to a recycling center.

C. Toss them in the garbage.

Answer: B and C. Rechargeable batteries are readily recyclable (a great reason to use them if you aren’t already); check for local options. Unfortunately, there aren’t many places that recycle single-use alkaline batteries, because their raw materials aren’t worth the effort. You may need to toss them in the trash.

How should you treat a used metal paint can?

A. Put it in the curbside recycling bin.

B. Throw it away in the garbage.

C. Bring it to a local recycling facility.

Answer: A or C. Empty paint cans may be able to go in with your other metal recycling, or may need to be dropped off at a recycling center. Check your local rules, and ask about collection programs for leftover paint.

What should you not do with an old computer?

A. Return it to the manufacturer.

B. Put it at the curb for trash collection.

C. Find a recycler in your area.

Answer: B. Computers can leach heavy metals if they end up in landfills. Some manufacturers offer a discount for a trade-in when you buy a new model. To find a responsible recycler, visit If it’s a recent model, a local charity may be happy to take it.

How should you handle a broken compact fluorescent lightbulb?

A. Vacuum it up.

B. Sweep it up with a broom.

C. Leave the room for 15 minutes, then deal with it.

Answer: C. CFLs contain a small amount of mercury, and when one breaks it can become airborne; open a window to air out the room for 15 minutes. Then, use a stiff piece of paper to scoop pieces into a sealable plastic bag (a broom will spread the mercury; a vacuum will blow it into the air). Blot up remaining fragments with tape, wipe the surface with a damp paper towel, and tuck both in the bag. Dispose of as directed by local rules.

Which of the following is not an environmentally sound way to dispose of medication?

A. Flush it down the toilet.

B. Mix it with coffee grinds in a zip-top bag and throw it into the trash.

C. Give it to a drug take-back program.

Answer: A. Many medicines can contaminate water if flushed away. Mixing them with coffee grinds (or cat litter) will help deter children, pets or drug users looking for a fix. The best option: Bring meds to a take-back program to ensure they’re properly handled. Call your town’s sanitation department, or visit the medication recycling page on

Recalls Alert

The following products and vehicles were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Unless otherwise indicated, discontinue use of the products immediately and return them to the store where purchased for a refund. For more information about the products, call the manufacturer or CPSC’s toll-free hotline, 800-638-2772. Only some cars or trucks recalled are affected. Contact a dealer for your model to see if it is included in the recall. The dealer will tell you what to do.


Carter’s 3-piece penguin cardigan sets, sold at Carter’s, Bon-Ton, Burlington Stores, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Ross Stores, Toys R Us, and other stores nationwide and online at from July 2017 through March 2018 for about $40.

The cardigan’s toggle button can detach, posing a choking hazard to young children. Consumer should immediately take the recalled cardigan sets away from children, stop using them and return them to a Carter’s store location for a full refund in the form of a gift card. Consumers also can contact Carter’s Consumer Affairs department and request a free return label and envelope to return the cardigan for a refund in the form of an electronic gift card. Consumers can contact Carter’s Consumer Affairs department at 800-692-4674 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST Monday through Friday or online at Click on “Product Recalls” at the bottom of the page for more information.

Jaguar Land Rover 2018 Range Rover Velar
The air inlet door linkages for the ventilation system may detach, preventing the system from clearing fog or condensation from the windshield and windows. If condensation or fog cannot be cleared, the driver’s visibility may be affected, increasing the risk of a crash. Land Rover will notify owners, and dealers will update the vehicle software to control the length of movement of the ventilation actuator arm for free. Owners may contact Land Rover customer service at 800-637-6837. Land Rover’s number for this recall is N143.

© Hearst Communications Inc.; Distributed by King Features Syndicate


THE BEST OF GOOD HOUSEKEEPING REPORTS: Test your recycling know-how–