Recycling Ideas You’ve Probably Never Thought Of

Posted on Thu, 06/28/2018

By Rich Martin and John Klise


We’re on a roll with our blog series about recycling! First, we wrote about how food waste is being addressed, then the variety of ways old tires are given a new lease on life. This piece is dedicated to unusual ways we can recycle and benefit our planet.  


Wine corks. We’ve seen cool crafts using old wine corks, so if you’re the creative type, by all means, keep reusing your old corks in meaningful ways. If you aren’t handy, no worries: cork is 100 percent biodegradable and renewable. Old corks are used for flooring tiles, automotive gaskets, building insulation and more. An organization called ReCORK is an alliance of businesses and individuals who collaborate to collect and repurpose wine corks.


Eyeglasses. If your eye doctor doesn’t collect old glasses, check out New Jersey-based New Eyes. It’s a nonprofit that since 1932 has helped improve the vision of the poor. They provide new prescription eyeglasses through a voucher program for adults and children in the U.S. as well as recycle and distribute donated glasses for the poor overseas. They collect hearing aids, too.


CDs and DVDs. Has your taste in music changed over the years? Do you have a stack of DVD movies you no longer want? Don’t throw them in the trash. Since 2006, CD Recycling Center of America has provided CD and DVD recycling for businesses, libraries, schools, consumers, the works. You’ll find the location of where to send your discs here.


Pantyhose. Our grandmothers would be pleased to learn that a staple in their wardrobe has a second life today. No Nonsense recycles old nylon pantyhose by grinding it and it's used with material to make park benches, carpets and playground equipment. They also get points for operating eco-friendly factories, using planet-friendly packaging and running efficient, low-consumption manufacturing operations.


Pet fur. The next time you bring Fido in for grooming, ask if the business owner is familiar with Matter of Trust. The San Francisco-based nonprofit uses donations of clean pet fur to make oil-absorbing mats and hair-stuffed containment booms (temporary floating barriers) that soak up oil from spills.


For more ideas on how to help make your community a cleaner, greener place, take a look at Recyclebank.

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