Updated December 2015
Originally published in Nov/Dec 2011 issue
20 Plastic Things
You Didn't Know
You Can Recycle
1) Bottle and jar caps: Weisenbach
Recycled Products accepts clean plastic bottlecaps, plastic jar caps, flip-top caps from personal care products, and flexible snap-on lids (e.g. butter tub lids) to turn into funnels and other items. CapsCando.com.
2) Brita pitcher filters: Preserve’s
Gimme 5 program accepts Brita-brand
pitcher filters for recycling. (See #11 below.)
3) Compostable bioplastics: Find a municipal
composter at FindaComposter.com.
4) Computers and other electronics: Find the most responsible recyclers near you
at e-stewards.org/find-a-recycler. Your local
Best Buy store will also accept many types of electronics, large and small—from televisions and gaming systems to fans and alarm clocks. Best Buy partners with responsible recyclers that do not ship items overseas, including Green Business Network™ member Electronic Recyclers International. You can bring three small items per day to Best Buy for free. The company charges a fee to recycle large electronics. BestBuy.com/recycling.
5) Eyeglasses: Your local Lions Club collects them for people in need.
6) Fishing line: Mail to Berkley Recycling,
which turns it into fish habitat structures: 1900 18th Street; Spirit Lake, IA 51360.
7) Gift cards and customer loyalty
cards: Fill out the form at earthworkssystem.com
/consumers.html to recycle them. (Accepts conventional cards only, not bioplastic/compostable cards.)
8) Ink Cartridges: Recycleplace.org pays $1/each. Or check out inkrecycling.org to recycle them. You can recycle ink cartridges along with CDs, DVDs, jewel cases, audio and video tapes, small electronics for $30 (includes postage) through Green Disk, 800/305-GREENDISK. (Also see #12, “Technotrash.”)
9) Pantyhose/tights: No Nonsense
collects all brands of hose, tights, and kneehighs to be recycled into other products. NoNonsense.com/PantyhoseRecycling.aspx.
10) Plastic packaging: Many pack-and-ship stores will take packing peanuts and bubble wrap. For drop-off locations for foam blocks, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.
11) Polypropylene (#5) plastics (all
types): Preserve’s Gimme 5 program
accepts all types of clean #5 plastics,
which are turned into Preserve personal
care and kitchen products. Drop them off
in the “Gimme 5” container available at
select Whole Foods and food co-ops. Visit preserveproducts.com/recycling to find a location or learn how to mail them in.
12) “Technotrash”: Organizations and
schools can earn money for recycling ink cartridges and small electronics like cell phones and iPods through ProjectKOPEG.com. Recycle a large box of CDs, DVDs,
jewel cases, audio and video tapes, small electronics, and ink cartridges for $30 (includes postage) through Green Disk, 800/305-GREENDISK, GreenDisk.com.
13) Telephones: Donate a phone to Hopeline, which helps domestic violence victims
14) Sports equipment: Resell or trade it at your local Play It Again Sports outlet, 800/476-9249, www.playitagainsports.com .
15) Tennis balls: reBounces restores old
tennis balls that have lost their bounce.
16) Tennis shoes: NikeReuseAShoe.com
turns them into athletic flooring. Soles4souls.org and OneWorldRunning.com sends still-wearable shoes to runners in need in developing countries.
17) Toys: Domestic Metals and Plastics accepts
plastic toys of all types for recycling. Dmpgreen.com.
18) Trophies: Lamb Awards will break
your trophies down and remake them into
new ones. E-mail internet at lambawards dot com, and put “recycling” in the
19) Tyvek envelopes: Quantities less
than 25: Send to Tyvek Recycle, Attn. Shirley B. Wright, 8401 Fort Darling Road, Richmond, VA 23237. More than 25: call 866/33-TYVEK.
20) Yoga mats: thestuffstop.com
accepts yoga mats for recycling.