14 Surprising Things you Didn’t Know you Could Recycle

  1. Running shoes: When your old running shoes get too worn out or need a new pair, don’t throw them out. A number of different organizations, including NIKE, Running Wild and the MORE Foundation, accept used sneakers for recycling and reuse
  2. Holiday Lights: Do you have burned out holiday lights? Take them to a Home Depot, which launched a recycling program for lights in 2014
  3. Crayons: Crayola alone produces 3 billion crayons per year. Save them and recycle them to the National Crayon Recycle Program
  4. Compact fluorescent light bulbs: Because these light bulbs contain mercury, which can leak into the ground if the bulbs are not properly disposed of. The Environmental Protection Agency advises that consumers recycle the lights. Visit search.Earth911.com to find out where
  5. Toilets and other porcelain fixtures: Toilets and other porcelain fixtures are accepted by fill yards, which crush them for use in sidewalks and roads
  6. Wine Corks: Corks made for pretty decorations, but organizations like RECORK collect them, grind them down and repurpose them for other consumer uses
  7. Cigarette Waste: Recently a cigarette butt recycling program was launched, which collects cigarette waste and ships them to Terracycle, a speciality recycling business. The butts are then separated into their plastic, paper and tobacco parts. The latter two are composted, while the former is melted into plastic pipettes that are cut into pellets, which can be resole
  8. Solo Cups: Terracycle also take a whole range of different items, including red solo cups, which can be difficult to recycle
  9. Artificial Christmas Trees: There are recycling centers such as The Fountain Recycling Center that will recycle old artificial Christmas trees
  10. E-Waste: Each year, people around the world throw away millions of tons of electronics, and much of it ends up rotting in landfills. Instead, take your electronics to certified waste facilities where they are sorted, refurbished, resold and broken down for parts
  11. CD-ROMs: Recycling is better than tossing them in a landfill. You can donate your old CD-ROMS at E-Waste facilities such as CD Recycling Center
  12. Tights and Stockings: Women’s stockings are usually made from nylon which takes years to decompose. Enter No Nonsense, a hosiery company that takes stockings and turns them into park benches, running tracks, car insulation and playground equipment
  13. Diapers: A Canadian company called Fast Company has come up with a way to strip up to 98% of the plastic and fiber from absorbent hygiene products and reuse the material to make products such as roof tiles, plastic components, tubing and recycling paper
  14. Empty or Used Makeup Containers: Brands like MAC, Aveda and Origins all have recycling programs in place for responsible disposal

Cosmetics, footwear, baby products, lighting, household equipment and art supplies can all be disposed of responsibly for future use.


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