OK, it used to be that you would just dump anything you don't need into the garbage and it would find itself in a landfill. Well, we are far from those days, today, every day there is regular waste, there is green waste and there is recycling plus lots of other special things, so here's a quick guide to what to do with a carload of junk you have no idea what to do with:
Load the Recycle It App. This is a nice guide on your phone for those wondering when its time to recycle from curb side. For special items, check out the Where to Recycle tabs
Donate the stuff to Goodwill. This is the easiest thing to do. They will sort through things that need to be recycled as well. Turns out they are one of the biggest recyclers as well, so this is an easy way to process things if you don't have the time but don't just want to throw things into the dump. Oh and you can estimate the value and get a charitable donation as well. The main thing they don't accept is furniture, hazardous chemicals (of course), knives and blades, light bulbs, batteries, and flammable stuff. So you need to find another place for things like that.
Recycling. There are the normal items for every day which are paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and metal. There is an absolutely massive list. Aluminum foil. don't crumple them, they should be flat and bigger than 3 inches long. I've always wondered, but plastic caps ago in the garbage, but if you have 3 inches or larger diameter plastic or metal they go in recycling.
Books. OK, if you have a mountain of books, you can donate it to say a school rummage sale, but with the pandemic, these things are largely closed, so our favorite Lakeside Rummage is no more at least for now. But you can donate them to the Friends of the Seattle Library. You just go to the Seattle central library if you have five or fewer. If you have 80 or less, then you make an appointment. Otherwise, you send an email to Collins Books.
CFL, Florescent tubes, HID bulbs. These have mercury in them, so you do not want to throw them away. Fortunately, you can take them to a hardware store (up to 10 a day) and they will take them away. There are lots of convenient places like Madison Park Hardware that do.
Batteries. if you have a lot of them but you can go to the North Household Hazardous Waste Facility, 12550 Stone Ave N, Seattle, on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday from 9-5 PM. But button batteries go in the garbage. Also, Lithium batteries only can go to Call2Recycle outlets so for instance if you have rechargeable batteries they can go to Amazon TRB at 2646 Rainier Ave S or the Home Depot
Corks. These can be recycled at boxes at the PCC or Whole Foods in Drop boxes.
Things that go into the trash: Incandescent light bulbs and LED batteries
Incandescent light bulbs. I had thought you needed to handle these especially, but unless you want to make a potted plant or some cool art, you wrap them in paper and dispose of them in the garbage. Kind of sad that you can't do something with them.
LED Halogen and Xenon bulbs are the same by the way.
E-Waste. Yes I have a whole bunch of these random things like monitors,e tc. they go to the Take it Back Network and if you work, they are mainly free.