It’s no secret that our landfills are filling up, and fast. Each person in America generates approximately 4.5 lbs of trash each day—with a population of 317 million people, that’s a LOT of garbage! We all know about the obvious ways to reduce solid waste—donating old clothes, recycling containers, composting, and choosing biodegradable when possible—but it turns out that a lot of other commonly used products can be recycled or reused, too. Here’s a list of 7 you may not have known about.
Crayola’s ColorCycle initiative takes old Crayola markers and re-uses and recycles the barrels and caps in the production of new markers. As a bonus, Crayola also uses 100% reforested wood to make their colored pencils as well as other eco-friendly practices.
If you needed an extra reason to buy that bottle of wine, Recork turns used corks into building insulation, shoes, and more. Find out where to recycled your corks.
No Nonsense, a manufacturer of tights, panty hose, leggings, and socks will take back used pairs pantyhose and tights and make them into things like park benches, running tracks, and playground equipment—how cool is that? Find out how to recycle your used pair on No Nonsense’s Recycling page.
Bras are a highly sought-after item in shelters and transitional programs. While most women trash their used (or poorly fitted) bras, thinking perhaps that no one would want to purchase a used bra at a second hand store, companies like The Bra Recyclers are more than happy to accept used bras and other textiles. Their mission is to reduce the amount of textiles in landfills by recycling and reusing textiles in an effort to support people and the environment.
#5: Old CD’s
I’ve always wondered why CD’s couldn’t be recycled—turns out they can! The CD Recycling Center of America accepts CD’s and DVD’s and recycles them into plastic for automotive and building materials in an effort to reduce oil consumption (plastic discs are made from oil), eliminate the toxic fumes produced when CD’s are incinerated, and keep CD’s out of landfills.
Each year, the National Crayon Recycling Program keeps more than 94,000 lbs of unwanted crayons out of landfills. The program has nation-wide drop off bins that accept used crayons that will be recycled into new ones. They accept all crayons but as a bonus sort and discard crayons manufactured in foreign countries before 1995 that may contain questionable materials.
#7: Apple Products
Apple accepts old iPods, iPhones, computers, and more and recycles or reuses the product or its parts. If your old product qualifies for reuse, Apple will give you a gift card for the monetary value of your old product. If it does not qualify for reuse, Apple will safely recycle your product free of charge.
This list of 7 is just the tip of the iceberg! From batteries to eyeglasses, there are many more household items that can be recycled, and the number of products and materials is growing all the time as more and more companies spring up hoping to reduce consumption and waste.
YOUR TURN: Do you have other inside info on lesser-known recyclable or reusable products or materials?