So often I come across items that people have kept just because they didn't know what else to do with them. There are cans of old house paint, half used bottles of chemicals that won't ever get opened again, batteries and electronics that aren't in working order.
Here in Chicago, I take items regularly to the city's hazardous waste center on Goose Island at 1150 N. Branch. For those who do live in Chicago, here's what you can take to recycle: Accepted Materials.
If you don't live in the city of Chicago, contact your local village or city hall to inquire about hazardous waste recycling programs. If all else fails, there are services that will collect items for a fee.
If you live near a Best Buy, you can also drop off certain electronics for proper recycling. Most won't accept TVs, monitors or anything else with a screen. Call your local Best Buy to ask before loading up the car.