15 Things you didn’t know you could recycle

15 Things you didn't know you could recycle

Apart from newspaper, plastics and glass, there are many things in your home which can be recycled. Any home generates a lot of garbage, and most of this garbage contains things which can be put to use again, including used diapers. A company in Canada is extracting the plastic and paper from used diapers and recycling that to make plastic components, recycled paper, tubing and roof tiles. This just goes to show that almost everything can be recycled these days. Here’s a list of 15 things you probably didn’t know could be recycled:

Holiday lights

Holiday lights

Holidays don’t feel like holidays without holiday lights, whether you have lots of lights or just a string or two. If you have been throwing away burnt out lights, you should stop doing so. You can give your lights to some local group which accepts burnt out lights for recycling.



Batteries are highly toxic and should be recycled. Now, Battery Solutions, some specific Ikea stores and Staples’ can recycle batteries which keep them from ending up in landfills and causing a lot of pollution.

Porcelain fixtures

Broken porcelain fixtures, including toilets can be recycled. You can take them to fill yards which crush these and use the crushed material for roads and sidewalks. They may however charge you a fee to recycle your porcelain items.

DVD, CDs, Game disks

DVD, CDs, Game disks

Scratched CDs, DVDs etc can be sent to CDFixers or other companies who will refinish them and make them work again.

Wine corks

Instead of throwing away wine corks, you can store them and give them to organizations which collect them and grind them down, then repurpose them to make other consumer goods.



You can give wearable clothes to charity. Unwearable clothes can be donated to pet boarding facilities and shelters, which use them for pet bedding. Swapping clothes with likeminded people such as friends and colleagues can save you all some money.

CFL bulbs

Many Ikea stores offer to recycle CFL bulbs. The site Earth911 has a tool which allows you to enter the name of your recyclable product and your zip code, after which you will receive list of organizations which will recycle that item.

Cigarette butts

A firm called TerraCycle, which is located in New Jersey, separates the tobacco, plastic and paper from butts. The tobacco and paper is composted and the plastic is melted to pellets which are then resold. If you are in the US, you can collect cigarette butts and send it to this firm to be recycled.

Bio-plastics which are compostable

Cups which are marked and cornstarch utensils which are examples of compostable bioplastics, are difficult to compost in your home. Send these to municipal composters which can compost these items easily.

Fake Christmas trees

Fake Christmas trees too can be recycled – they don’t need to rot in your garage! If you search online, you will come across organizations which accept artificial trees for recycling.


Every year, millions of computers and electronic goods are thrown away in a Garbage pickup. If you also have any old computers and other electronic waste, you can give them to be recycled by certified recycling facilities which can be refurbished, sorted, and resold, or broken down for their parts.

Exercise videotapes

You may be tired of the same workouts, so swap them with your friends, colleagues or other family members. The magnetic tape in the tapes makes them difficult to recycle though there are organizations which accept them.

Nylon stockings

Recycling nylon stockings is possible now, and certain hosiery companies accept these stockings and convert them into running tracks, park benches, playground equipment and car insulation.


Eyeglasses are not recycled, but they’re often reused by those in need, who have similar prescription. Eye doctors, Lion’s clubs, libraries accept eyeglasses, reading glasses and sunglasses and pass them on to people who can’t afford them.

Packing companies, or moving companies can accept foam packing and foam peanuts and reuse them. They can be recycled too – you can check online for the nearest drop off point.

Crayons, phones, empty makeup containers, cardboard boxes, running shoes can all be recycled. Recycling as much as possible is beneficial for the environment as raw material need not be used to produce new goods, and a lot of energy, money and water is saved as well.

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