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This month's tip is from Ed Asbach of St. Gobain Structural Ceramics, December's Green Tip submission winner. Ed wrote:

At Saint-Gobain Structural Ceramics, we built three clearly marked boxes out of 1/2" plywood with handles that are marked for battery recycling.  In the past, many of these batteries would end up in the trash can and a land-filled.  Now all batteries end up in one of these wooden bins.  One is in the office area and two are on the plant floor.  Batteries from computers, flashlights, equipment, tools, controllers, meters, etc., are taken once a quarter to a recycle center for proper disposal.

Ed's right, this is a great way for businesses to recycle batteries and other recyclable items, keep them out of landfills, and save valuable natural resources.  But that's not all; it's a great way to recycle at home, too!

Most municipalities offer curbside recycling for paper, cardboard, and many plastic and metal containers, but many recyclable items are left out.  Batteries are of particular concern for recycling because they can release pollutants into the air and water supplies when they are land filled or incinerated.  You could reduce the amount of batteries and other recyclable items by keeping a designated container for them at home and take them to a recycler periodically instead of throwing them in the trash.  Visit for a listing of Western New York recyclers for various recyclable items that aren't recycled at the curb along with a lot of other great information on recycling.

As we mentioned in our holiday newsletter, another great way to reduce the number of batteries going to landfills is to invest in rechargeable batteries.  Chargers and batteries are readily available for commonly used sizes (AA, AAA, C, D, 9V) and will save you money in the long run.

Congratulations Ed and thank you to everyone who submitted their green tip!

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Make your own ornaments and decorations.  Once upon a time, decorating the home and tree was a family event, why not bring that back?  Go on a scavenger hunt with the kids and find items around the house and the yard that can be `recycled` into holiday ornaments.  It will provide hours of family fun, and when you use as many `found` objects as possible, you'll be teaching the kids how to reduce, reuse and recycle at the same time!


Think green when decorating for your holiday festivities by following these tips.


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