Can I recycle that?


Image by CSatch

The other day I was flipping through Woman’s Day magazine and I saw this great little article titled “the best way to recycle it”.  It basically said how to recycle old outdoor equipment.  Of course that got me thinking, what other odds and ends (or even every-day use items) can you recycle rather than toss?

So I figured I’d do some looking and see what I could find.  Here are just a few things I found:

  • Old sports equipment, balls, hockey sticks, skis, camping gear, etc – donate it to your local community center or youth organization.  I’m sure there are many kids/adults who would be happy to use your “recycled” equipment.
  • CDs, DVDs and their cases – If you don’t want to donate them for someone else’s enjoyment, you can always give them to a recycling program to be recycled into an egg carton or automotive part. 
  • Tennis shoes and other athletic footwear (no cleats) – Nike has a great program caleld Reuse-a-shoe that turns athletic footwear into a material called “Nike Grind” and then uses it to surface playgrounds, running tracks and outdoor courts.  Talk about giving back to the sport.
  • Glasses, please don’t throw them away – You can donate glasses or frames to the Give the Gift of Sight Foundation or drop them off at your local eyeglass chain such as LensCrafters or even Walmart has recycling bins for glasses/frames (cell phones, too).
  • Your “old clunker” – rather than trying to sell it to someone else so that they drive around in your high-emission, low-mpg vehicle, trade it in at your local dealer as part of the Car Allowance Rebate System (aka Cash for Clunkers).  Oh wait, they just suspended that program as it was a little “too successful”.  Well, you can still donate your old car to programs like where your donation supports combat-wounded veterans and their families.

And remember, until they reinstate the Car Allowance Rebate System, you can always do simple actions to increase the fuel economy and lower your emissions.  Rotating and properly inflating your tires, using a proven fuel additive, getting your car a tune-up, etc. all help lower emissions and improve fuel economy.

Now of course most of these items can be donated to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, your local church, shelters or other non-profit charities that accept goods.  The main thing to remember is even if you can’t use it or no longer use an item, it doesn’t mean you should just throw it away.  If it is in workable condition, someone else can most definitely make good use of it.  If it really is “junk”, then ensure you recycle it if you can.  You never know what wonderful things your recycled junk could bring to life.

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