We’ve come a long way from just recycling aluminum cans. On Nov. 15, America Recycles Day, we are reminded of all things – some obvious, others not so much – that can be reused instead of being dumped in a landfill. Check out some of these newer trends in recycling all things unwanted:
Recycle What You Wear
- You can mail your old glasses and hearing aids to New Eyes for the Needy, among other places, so they can distribute these to help disadvantaged people in foreign countries. They also supply empty frames, children’s and sports glasses.
- The life of a running shoe is just a year and walking shoes less than that. There are places that will take old footwear. Host a shoe drive or send your discarded pairs to a drop-off location.
- Ladies, you can even give your old bras purpose by repurposing them with The Bra Recyclers. You can send your old or new, slightly flawed or even returned items to them instead of throwing them in the trash. Who knew?
Don’t Forget the Technology
Only 15-20% of electronic waste is recycled properly, much of that because of bad timing. For example, instead of holding on to your old smartphone or television in case you might need it again, recycle the equipment right away. Because technology turns over quickly, this provides the best reuse potential before the components become obsolete. Remember, when you buy electronics, make sure you find a way to recycle the device it is replacing.
You Can Recycle That?
- Can you believe 38% of all U.S. roadway litter is made of cigarettes and waste from tobacco products? Now, litter no more. TerraCycle offers a program that allows people to collect and send tobacco waste to be composted and recycled into industrial plastic products such as shipping pallets.
- Instead of leaving yard waste for curbside pickup, take all that organic waste and combine it with foodstuffs, such as coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, and fruit rind and pits, and create your own gardening compost.
- Unwanted chargers and power cords accumulate regularly as people upgrade their smartphones and camera equipment. Don’t throw them away. Instead, check out recycling centers that accept cables and power cords or donate them to non-profits that use them for their job training programs.
Before you chuck anything in the trash at home, remember 60% of everything we throw away can be recycled. Do your part and brag about it on social media, using the hashtag #AmericaRecyclesDay.