Sunday, August 16, 2009

Week 38: Clearing my plastic cache, Part 2

Here is plastic stuff I was squirreling away in my bedroom.

- 2 boxes of Restastis eye drops. I was prescribed these during my bouts with eye infections; they are for promoting tear production and they didn't really work for me. One box is still completely sealed. Unfortunately they are expired so it is too late to take them back to the doctor's office or donate them. The box bottoms are marked #5 and don't have printing on them that would indicate they held medicine; I'm taking these to Whole Foods for Gimme 5-- they're perfectly clean and sterile. The tops don't have the #5 stamp and do have a sticker that says Rx, so they go in the trash, along with the drops themselves.

- 5 boxes of contact lenses. Sadly they are expired. My eyes haven't been able to tolerate contact lenses since I had that series of infections: if I wear them, I get another infection. I have 5 more boxes that are not expired and emailed an organization called Madre to see if they can accept them as a donation. They will! So I'm dropping them off next week. Thank you to Cat for the suggestion! Expired lenses go in the trash, boxes recycled.

- 2 contact lens cases. They're used, and even if I sterilized them I don't think they are the kind of thing to give away for re-use. It sets off my ick factor. You?

- 1 bottle of expired Benadryl. Hmm, is it recyclable? The bottle is #2, and it is a bottle, so that sounds like curbside recycling. But it is thick white plastic, not clear like water and soda bottles, which makes me think it would have a different melting point and be a contaminant. Plus, I'm under the impression that prescription medicine bottles can't be recycled, though this is OTC medicine. Then there are the expired pills... what a quandary! I'm thinking I should put the whole sealed bottle in the trash to be safe. What do you think?

- Plastic bag, for a 6-pack of new underwear. Is it less plastic if I buy underwear that is individually tagged, not bagged? Hard to say.

- Several plastic tag hangers. I bought some new clothes for my high school reunion. Very Un-Compact of me, I know.

- 1 bottle of old pink nail polish. The bottle is glass but the applicator is plastic. Why do I have it in the first place? Every time I try to paint my nails it looks like the efforts of a five year old, so what I usually do is buff my nails when I want them to look nice and have a professional give me the occasional pedicure. And nail polish is classified as hazardous waste in many communities, so getting rid of it is not all that easy. Unclutterer says to let it dry to a solid and throw it in the trash. Other places on the internet say to take it to a hazardous waste facility. I sent an inquiry to NYCWasteLe$$ to ask which is best. UPDATE: NYCWasteLess says to tightly seal the bottle and throw it away in the regular trash.

- Empty "Z-Pack" package. A 5 day dose of Azithromycin, taken when I had bronchitis. Trash.

- Cranberry Emergen-C packet. Consumed while I was sick. I don't like the stuff but had it leftover from an old roommate. Empty envelope goes in the trash.

- Mach-3 razor blade. I have one or two of these left. Then will be a tough decision-- buy replacement blades for my Mach-3 which I've had for several years (a package of 5-6 blades will last me almost 2 years), or get an old fashioned metal safety razor and a box of metal blades? Beth at Fake Plastic Fish is happy with her safety razor and blades...but I really like my trusty Mach-3 and am scared of cutting myself. Hmm.

- Plastic pocket from a falafel sandwich. It LOOKED like paper, but wasn't. I'm really bummed because the food was fresh and dirt cheap and that was about to become my new favorite lunch spot.

1 comment:

The Green Cat said...

Juli: Check the packets that contain your lenses. The individual plastic containers that mine come in are #5 plastic. I have to throw the peel-off top away but the plastic container can go to Gimme 5.

Madre will also take your lens cases. Wash them, and rinse thoroughly with sterile saline and then let them air dry.

NYC curbside recycling takes all #1 and #2 small-necked bottles. So as long as the neck is smaller than the bottle (which I imagine it is on a Benadryl bottle) you can put it in your curbside recycling.