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Casa Verde: 21 Surprisingly Recyclable Things

Once you start recycling, it's hard to stop, and I'm always sad to throw anything in the trash. (Some of my biggest pet peeves are excessive packaging materials like peanuts and bubble-mailer envelopes.) So I was genuinely relieved to find this list of 21 things you didn't know you could recycle via Treehugger.

Some of these you may already know about, but some of them really surprised me, such as the aforementioned packing peanuts and eyeglasses. Check out the list and tell me what you think. Here are some of my most surprising finds.

  • Appliances: Goodwill accepts working appliances, or you can contact the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them.
  • Cardboard boxes: Contact local nonprofits and women’s shelters to see if they can use them. Or, offer up used cardboard boxes at your local listserv or on for others who may need them for moving or storage. If your workplace collects at least 100 boxes or more each month, accepts them for resale.

For the rest of my favorites,

  • CDs/DVDs/Game Disks: Send scratched music or computer CDs, DVDs, and PlayStation or Nintendo video game disks to AuralTech for refinishing, and they’ll work like new.
  • Compact fluorescent bulbs: Take them to your local IKEA store for recycling.
  • Eyeglasses: Your local Lion’s Club or eye care chain may collect these. Lenses are reground and given to people in need.
  • Foam packing: Your local pack-and-ship store will likely accept foam peanuts for reuse. For places to drop off foam blocks for recycling, contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.
  • Oil: Find Used Motor Oil Hotlines for each state:
  • Tennis shoes: Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program turns old shoes into playground and athletic flooring. One World Running will send still-wearable shoes to athletes in need in Africa, Latin America, and Haiti.
  • Toothbrushes and razors: Buy a recycled plastic toothbrush or razor from Recycline, and the company will take it back to be recycled again into plastic lumber. Recycline products are made from used Stonyfield Farms’ yogurt cups.
  • Tyvek envelopes: Quantities less than 25: Send to Shirley Cimburke, Tyvek Recycling Specialist, 5401 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Spot 197, Room 231, Richmond, VA 23234. Quantities larger than 25, call 866/33-TYVEK.
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