Do You Recycle? The Go Green Guy – 19 items you may not know that you can recycle!

| May 23, 2012
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Recycling is one of the easiest ways to start down the road to Greener living.

Nobody is going to be completely Green, but like I’ve said before, “take baby steps! Every little step adds up. For every action there is a reaction.”

If you make positive actions, no matter how small they may seem, the overall reaction can be huge!

So why not concentrate on something that is really easy to do and maybe even get paid for some of it. RECYCLE!

Many of you reading this are already doing some sort of recycling at your home or work place. Beverage containers, maybe paper products, but there is so much more!

Many items are recyclable that people do not seem to know about.

The Go Green Guys 19 items you may not know that you can recycle!

1. Blue Jeans
Donating jeans (as with any used clothing and household items) to Goodwill is always a great option. But if they’re too raggedy, they can be recycled into cool products. Companies like Green Jeans Insulation and Bonded Logic manufacture insulation products from recycled denim and cotton fibers. Green Jeans Insulation recycles jeans into natural fiber insulation used for interior and exterior walls and ceiling applications.

2. Shoes
When old shoes are too worn out, beat down and just plain disgusting to donate to your local charity the landfill isn’t the answer. Check out the Website recycledrunners.comfor shoe recycling facilities and organizations near you. Also note that Nike is happy to take your rubber-soled shoes—no matter who made them—and recycle them into new athletic surfaces like basketball courts and running tracks. Find your nearest dropoff location at the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Web site

3. Carpet
Removing old carpet is a pain and so is getting rid of it. Before you send it to the local landfill find out if you have a carpet reclamation company in your area. Check out CarpetRecovery— they just might be able to turn your old carpet into composite lumber, roofing shingles, railroad ties, or automotive parts.

4. Batteries

There are many places now where you can bring in your used one time use batteries for recycling. Battery Solutions offers products and services to recycle all battery types anywhere in the U.S. and in any quantity.

5. Rechargeable batteries

While nine states have passed laws banning rechargeable batteries from landfills, New York City and the state of California have passed the only laws requiring manufacturer take-back programs. This includes batteries for cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices. But if you live in an area that’s not covered by this mandate, Call2Recycle is a great place to start finding a recycling location.

6. Wine

We all know that wine bottles can be recycled along with all of your glass and metal containers, but what about the cork? ReCORK by Amorim  claims to have recycled 14,568,152 corks since they started their program in 2007. They get corks from wineries, restaurants and individuals. Used corks are ground up to be used in products ranging from floors to sporting equipment to shoes. WineFashionistas should check out shoes being made with cork by SOLE. Don’t forget the left over wine, don’t dump it down the drain, wine can encourage the composting process. Just pour your left over wine in the compost bin!

 7. Crayons

National Crayon Recycle Program has diverted more than 47,000 pounds of crayons from landfills. The company has drop-off bins nationwide and a mail-back option. The program accepts unwanted and broken crayons for recycling into new crayons. You can also melt down your old crayons and mold into new fun shape crayons – here is a sample of a fun re-use of your old crayons

8. Cotton Swabs

If you compost, cotton balls, cotton swabs (as long as the handle is made of cardboard), lint from the dryer and even old shredded cotton and wool clothing can all go in your compost bin.

9. Golf Balls

Every golfer has a collection of junk balls you picked up while trudging through the rough in search of s a lost ball, you can bring those old golf balls to a Dixon Golf retail location or mail them in for recycling. OnlyGolfBalls.com will buy old golf balls in bulk. Also, check out LostGolfBalls.com to purchase recycled and used golf balls.

10. Trophies

In days of old, trophies were hard earned and very special, now the are given out to every participant on a given sports team. They add up fast. When you are tired of dusting them off, don’t put them in the trash. There are options. Total Awards & Promotions, Inc. has a trophy recycling program to benefit charities. Through a mail-in program, the company recycles your defunct awards or re-engraves and donates them to nonprofit organizations. One of many trophy recycling programs offered nationwide, the company also manufacturers its own awards made of recycled glass and newsprint.

 11. Keys

How about all of those old keys you toss into a drawer, do you really think you will ever use them again? Don’t toss them in the trash either. They’re made of valuable metal, after all. Keys For Kindness is a small, family-run program designed to raise money through metal key recycling for the Multiple Sclerosis society. The donor pays for shipping, but we’re sure karma points are said donor’s future.

12. Bicycles

To most of us a bicycle is a recreational item, a child’s toy or a piece of exercise equipment. For many others in the world, a bicycle is basic transportation and one they they can not afford. Providing bicycles to those living in Third World countries can change lives for the better. Americans throw away more than 15 million bicycles each year, but the nonprofit organization Bikes for the World is working to keep those unwanted bikes out of our landfills and put them in the hands of people who really need them.

13. Mattresses

It is estimated that about 20 million mattresses are replaced every year in the U.S. Where do you think the old ones end up? Yep most of them end up in landfills! But an increasing number of mattress retailers will accept your used mattress for recycling, but specifically ask/insist about recycling before you agree to buy a replacement. Mattress recycling centers are springing up around the country, where they recycle about 90% of the mattress into fiber for clothing, wood chips, foam products, and scrap metal.

14. Scrap Metal

Old scrap metal can be a money maker. Anything that you may have kicking around, taking up space, if it is made of metal, scrap it!  To find out more check out I Scrap App.They proved information on local scrap yards, pricing, etc…

15. Hair

Human hair is compostable and recyclable. Hair from your hairbrush or fur from your pet are full of useful nitrogen that can be thrown in the compost pile. Donating your hair could help clean up future oil spills. San Francisco nonprofit Matter of Trust collects human and pet hair to create booms that soak up oil.

 16. Eye glasses

Take them down to your local Lions club or Project 20-20. There are always those with limited funds who could use glasses.

17. Foam packing and EPS (commonly known as Styrofoam©)

Take the foam packing peanuts to one of your local pack and ship places such as the UPS stor eand Box and ship, to find one click here just type in your zip code. They will reuse it. (call first to make sure they are excepting).  As for EPS, there is the Pack-it-Back EPS recycling program, they take the crumbly styrofoam containers, they also take hardcover or paper back books, cd’s, dvd’s, VHS and cassette tapes.

18. Scratched DVD/CD/Game

If you have  a scratched disc, don’t just throw it out. They can actually be fixed at www.auraltech.com and they will work good as new.

19. Computers and electronics

We have talked about these in recent post and you have many options.  E – Waste – What is it? What do we do with it? will answer all of your questions.

 

If you ever have any questions about items that you are not sure are recyclable or where to recycle them, you can inquire at:  Earth 911 – they are one of the best sites for searching local recycle items and drop off locations. In Canada try Canada-Earth911,  If you live in the UK try recycle-more to locate recycle locations by postal code!

Remember the more we reuse and recycle, the less is going into landfills.

See my latest list: The Go Green Guy’s – Another 19 items that you didn’t know you could recycle!

 

“Green Starts at Home! What are you waiting for?”

Follow the Go Green Guy on Twitter @thegogreenguy

on facebook

 

References

1. http://earth911.com/news/2011/06/22/10-things-you-never-knew-were-recyclable/2/

2. http://www.divinecaroline.com/22355/99793-eight-things-didn-t-know-recycle

3. http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/recycling-oddiities-47090807#ixzz1kG21Niub

4. http://prairieecothrifter.com/2010/10/10-things-you-didnt-know-you-could-recycle.html

 

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Category: Go Green Living Tips, Uncategorized

About the Author (Author Profile)

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Creator/Host of Go Green America TV
Jeff (Jf) Davis aka The Go Green Guy is from Maine
Moved to LA to follow his passion as an actor
these days he is still acting, lives in LA with his wife and two boys
an writes about Green Living for his website Go Green America TV
that will soon be a TV show!!

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Comments (12)

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  1. Beautiful thinking brings beautiful acting and helpful result.
    Excellent.
    ..” If you make positive actions, no matter how small they may seem, the overall reaction can be huge!

    So why not concentrate on something that is really easy to do and maybe even get paid for some of it. RECYCLE!”

  2. This is excellent info to teach our young people. This can be a great starting point to teach them great habits.

  3. Those are all great suggestions. In fact I just donated about 20 old eyeglasses to the donation center at my local Walmart Optical. However, I do have one question…who has left over wine?

  4. If you think about it, just about everything on this list are things we use. We just need to be more conscientious when we go to throw them away – instead give them a “recycle” life.

  5. Excellent article! We are a textile recycling company that prevented 43 million pounds of textiles from reaching the landfill last year. Check out our website http://www.worldwearproject.com to find a clothing donation BIN near you.

  6. Jeff Davis says:

    Thanks for all of the feed back and comments, I really appreciate it
    If anyone has suggestions or questions, feel free to email me at thegogreenguy@gogreenamericatv.com
    Thanks

  7. Jeff Davis says:

    I had a question from Canada about recycling up there, if you are in Canada try this link
    http://earth911.com/location/international/canada/

  8. I never knew you could recycle hair!

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  10. Welcome, thanks for checking us out, please feel free to add us and contact me at jeffdavis@gogreenamericatv.com if you have any questions!

  11. mm jafari says:

    dear manager
    with a lot thanks for your efforts in recycling subjects,i have a question below:
    is it possible to recycle cotton from paper currency or produce some other goods from it.

    best regards
    jafari

  12. I do not quite understand your question, cotton and paper are two different materials