10 Things to Recycle That You Never Thought You Could

10 Things to Recycle That You Never Thought You Could

How full is your trash can? If you're like most people in the U.S., it's much fuller than it could be. Americans recycled just 33 percent of the 250 million tons of garbage they created in 2006, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. In comparison to a country such as Sweden, which recycles more than 85 percent of its waste every year, it's clear we can and should do better by moving beyond recycling mainstays like newspapers, cans and bottles. So before you toss something in the trash, think about how it could find new life as another product -- or with another owner. A few general guidelines: # You can probably recycle more than you think. Visit Earth 911 for the rules in your area -- what can be left curbside, and what your local agency will accept at designated drop-off sites. # Even your most worn-out household items can find new homes. Sell used items on eBay or Craigslist, or give them away through your local freecycle. # Items donated to qualified charitable organizations can be taken as a tax deduction. Here are some specific ways to recycle 10 surprising items: 1. Vintage doorknobs, radiators, windows and mantels: Donate or sell classic architectural elements to salvage firms or restoration projects. SalvageWeb is an online ad space that links buyers and sellers all over the world; here you can buy an Art Deco church chandelier, or unload a clawfoot tub after renovating your bathroom. Baltimore-based Second Chance Inc. accepts salvage donations and trains low-income people in the art of "deconstructing" buildings. 2. Toothbrushes: Recycline manufacturers its Preserve toothbrush from Stonyfield Farm yogurt containers; return each worn-out brush in a postage-paid envelope and it will be repurposed into plastic lumber. The Radius Original Toothbrush has a handle made of cellulose, an organic fiber. (Radius also recycles the handles of its battery-operated model once the battery runs out.) Or try Eco-Dent's TerrAdenT toothbrush, which has a replaceable head, so the handle can be reused. 3. Foam packaging: Lightweight "peanuts" made from expanded polystyrene (EPS) contain 25 to 100 percent recycled material. The Plastic Loose Fill Council has a "Peanut Hotline" (800-828-2214) you can call to find local recycling centers, including chain-store shippers such as Pak Mail and The UPS Store. To recycle large, molded chunks of EPS used to cushion televisions, air conditioners and such, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers. 4. Sneakers: Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program turns used athletic footwear (no cleats) into a material called Nike Grind, used to surface playgrounds, running tracks and outdoor courts. Or send your still-wearable athletic shoes to Shoe4Africa, which forwards them to athletes in developing countries. 5. Toys: Ask your local shelter for homeless families or battered women if they accept gently used toys. The Salvation Army and Vietnam Veterans of America also take used toys. Adult-appropriate items such as board games can be sent to troops overseas through AnySoldier.com. 6. Wine corks: Yemm & Hart, which produces recycled building materials, turns used corks into floor and wall tiles. In Canada, the Bag-a-Cork program collects wine corks for recycling. 7. Motor oil: Recycled motor oil can find new life as a lubricant or fuel. The American Petroleum Institute estimates the electricity created with just 2 gallons of reused motor oil would power the average home for nearly a day. Preserve used oil in a clean container with a secure, leakproof lid. You can recycle the used oil filter, too. Earth 911 has a list of motor oil recycling centers that's searchable by ZIP code. 8.Formal dresses: Charities like Chicago's Glass Slipper Project and New York City's Operation Fairy Dust accept donated gowns, shoes and purses to provide free prom wear to low-income teens. Books such as "Always a Bridesmaid: 89 Ways to Recycle That Bridesmaid Dress" offer tongue-in-cheek recycling advice to every woman who has a hideous gown buried at the back of her closet. 9.Eyeglasses, frames and cases: The Lions Club and Give the Gift of Sight Foundation collect used eyeglasses for needy people around the world. Donate your glasses at one of 17 Lions Clubs recycling centers, or at chains such as Pearle Vision Center, LensCrafters and Sunglass Hut. 10. Computers, cell phones and other e-waste: The EPA maintains a list of charities that accept used electronic equipment. Staples, Office Depot and Best Buy offer in-store e-waste recycling -- Best Buy also recycles used appliances. Dell, Toshiba and Sony lead the way in recycling computer products. Donate cell phones to organizations like The Wireless Foundation or Collective Good. Ship old videotapes and DVDs to Ecodisk or Greendisk. And mygreenelectronics.org connects you with e-waste recyclers in your area. The site also provided a link to find out more about recycling in your area: http://earth911.org/
Waxflower help?

Waxflower help?

i’m new!

i’m new!

Couple Questions…

Couple Questions…

An overview for Helenatroy.

An overview for Helenatroy.

Snapdragons

Snapdragons

In Search of Spring!

In Search of Spring!