Updated: Sep 23, 2020
A couple months ago, I made a video outlining things that you CANNOT recycle in your curbside pickup or that cannot be recycled as a whole. I wanted to make a sister video and let you know there are some surprising things that you actually can recycle either in your curbside pickup or via special programs.
Keep in mind that most of these CANNOT be recycled in curbside pickup. But, a lot of these items in this video CAN still be recycled, you just have to find out where. Sometimes your cities or regions will accept them, you might just have to call ahead. Or you can ship a lot of odds and ends to terra cycle and other organizations. I will leave links to all these unique recycling places down below so you can recycle more and throw away less. Though, of course, the best thing you can do is reduce your consumption when possible, but if you can’t, see what more you can recycle instead of throwing away.
Happy recycling! Let’s jump right in!
Empty bleach bottles (curbside)
ZIpper bags can be recycled here or some centers will take them
Bioplastics (can only be composted, but check here to find one near you)
10. Envelopes and boxes with the little plastic window can be recycled in your curbside pick-up as long as the window is removed
11. Greeting cards
13. Instead of recycling cardboard boxes, try to give them new life first! You can even donate them to U-Haul
14. Tin foil that is clean can be recycled in your curbside
15. Metal lids from things like a can of beans can be recycled in your curbside as long as it's clean
16. Aluminum tubes like my Davids Natural Toothpaste can be recycled in your curbside when cleaned
17. Keys can be recycled at Key For Hope
18. CDs can be recycled here
19. Cell phones
21. Apple actually has a take-back program for their products
23. Hearing Aids
25. Misc e-waste
26. Sex toys
27. Misc appliances
Shoes, Clothes, and Accessories
34. General clothing can be donated or recycled here (though recycling should be a last resort for clothing!)
35. Rubber boots (like rain boots)
36. Clothing hangers
40. Inhalers can be taken to participating pharmacies
43. Prescriptions cannot be recycled, but you can take them to participating pharmacies to be sure they are disposed of correctly. You can use this link to check pharmacies near you.
49. Chewing gum
52. Crocs has a take back program for their shoes
53. Motor oil
54. Yoga mats
56. Coffee grounds can actually be recycled!
57. Cooking oil is another unique one
58. Office supplies like pens and staplers
59. House paint
60. Mascara wands can be repurposed instead for wildlife rehabilitation
Recycling is a last resort, though
You should not just jump to one of these websites automatically because you can done with an item. If you bicycle or mattress or iPhone is still in good shape, donate or sell it first. Allow it to have new life before being recycled. Don't get me wrong, recycling weird objects like these is great, but recycling should always be a last resort (well, besides the trash).
If you do donate or sell your items on this list, be sure to share this resource with the person you are giving that item to so that they can dispose of it properly once the item has no more use. Once the item is no longer able to function as it should, that is when it should be recycled!
Thank you so much for reading along, I hope that this was helpful to you! If you are interested in learning more about how to properly recycle, here are some more of my resources:
Things you cannot recycle in your curbside pickup (video only for now)
The Do's and Don'ts of recycling in the US (video only)
How does recycling work in Japan (video only)
As always, until next time, remember that the small changes you make have a big impact in the long run :)