Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 21, 2023

How to recycle your unwanted household items

For many of us, springtime comes with renewed energy to declutter and tackle home improvement projects. As the dust settles and renovations are complete, you might find you’re left with multiple items that are no longer useful to you.

Before tossing everything in the garbage, check out this list to find ways to recycle unwanted items and dispose of hazardous materials properly.

Not only will donating and recycling help declutter your home, but it can also help reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve natural resources and create jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries in our local community.

Furniture and household Items

Gently used furniture and general household items such as lighting fixtures, cabinets, appliances, lawn equipment and more are always welcome at the Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga ReStore.

Jens Christensen, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga shares, “During the past year alone, we kept over 1.2 million pounds of reusable materials out of local landfills. Not only will your items find an appreciative new home at the ReStore, but the proceeds will go to building and repairing homes in the Chattanooga community.”

Broken or worn appliances

Appliances contain metal that can be reclaimed, so old or broken stoves, washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and other household appliances are eligible for recycling.

If you’re purchasing a new appliance, check with the company installing regarding their recycling options. Local scrap metal recyclers might be interested in your old appliances as well.


While bottles, jars and non-food glass containers such as perfume or face creams are recyclable, these items should be taken to local recycling centers and not placed in your curbside recycling bin.

It’s important to clean and dry items before recycling them, as leftover particles or liquids can contaminate other recyclables. Also, remove lids and corks before recycling.

Larger glass items such as vases, glass drinking cups, window glass and glass cookware can’t be recycled.

You can find a list of local recycling centers at Chattanooga.gov and hamiltontn.gov.


Beyond documents, many types of paper can be recycled. Mixed paper is a common household item and can include discarded mail, magazines and cardboard.

Your home office might contain recyclable content such as letterhead, files, phone books, copier paper or envelopes. Do not recycle wet, greasy or soiled paper.


Plastic jugs, jars and bottles can be recycled. Like glass, plastic items must be clean and dry before they can be salvaged.

Keep in mind that plastic can’t only be found in the kitchen. Your bathroom might have items that can be recycled, as well, such as shampoo, liquid soap or mouthwash containers.

Empty plastic detergent or cleaning bottles in your laundry room or utility closet are also ideal for recycling.

Hazardous materials

Carefully dispose of toxic materials to prevent harm to people or the environment.

Older materials found in your home, garage or shed can be considered dangerous, such as paint strippers with the newly banned toxic chemical methylene chloride. This type of toxic substance should be removed from your home with the appropriate personal protective clothing such as gloves.

Also, empty containers might have hazardous residual chemicals.

You can take all hazardous waste for both Chattanooga and Hamilton County to the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at 4063 North Hawthorne Street.

For more helpful information on anything related to home improvement, check out the Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga at hbagc.net.