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Politics and Activism

Tennis Shoes And 14 Other Uncommon Things You May Not Know Are Recyclable

From Keys and cosmetics to wine corks and crayons, there's a whole lot more than bottles and cans that can be recycled.

Tennis Shoes And 14 Other Uncommon Things You May Not Know Are Recyclable

Without exception, recycling is the top action society can do to simultaneously improve: the environment, the economy, sustainable manufacturing and to prevent waste from going into oceans. Paper, plastics, and aluminum cans. All the things we know that can be recycled and are commonly done so.

But did you know that there are tons of other things that can be recycled as well?

The average person generates over 4 pounds of trash every day and about 1.5 tons of solid waste per year. Much of that supposed "trash" can be recycled.

Here's a list of 14 uncommon things, besides tennis shoes, that you can recycle.

1. Oil


Motor oil, frying oil and any other oil that you could possibly think of can be recycled.

When you take your car to have its oil changed, that oil has to go somewhere. that oil is recycled. and those who change their own vehicle's oil can recycle too. Most cities and towns have guidelines related to how to collect and recycle motor oil products.

Many restaurants regularly recycle their commercial cooking oil, fast foods being the ones that use the most.

2. Tennis shoes

tennis shoes

Instead of throwing your old tennis shoes away, recycle them. Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program accepts old sneakers (any brand) and recycles them into courts for various sports so kids around the world have a place to play.

3. E-waste


Cellphones, laptops, old junky computers.. All of theses thing can be recycled. They are taken for their parts and the ones that can be reused are.

4. Holiday lights

holiday lights

Send you used lights to HolidayLEDs and you could get a a 15-percent-off coupon for anything on their site. The program is open year round.

5. Crayons


With 120,000 pounds of crayons produced each day in this country, the landfills could become surprisingly colorful. The best thing about these little drawing tools? Even they can be recycled! The National Crayon Recycle Program will recycle your rejected crayons and turn them into new ones.

6. Wine corks


Wine corks can be recycled into a number of things. They can be used in DIY projects, put into insulation, and even be used in making sports equipment. The organizations ReCork and SOLE have teamed up to repurpose those wine corks into soles for shoes.

7. Tooth brushes


One of the most daily and commonly used items, a toothbrush is also easily one of the most recyclable plastics out there. Instead of throwing these away when you buy a new one, consider recycling.

8. Christmas trees

christmas tree

Tree recycling programs are becoming more common throughout the U.S. and old trees are being used for bird feeders to soil erosion barriers.

9. CD-Roms


Many people still own a large number of CD's. Although, personally, I haven't used one in years. When these discs become scratched or chipped they are usually thrown away. However, they can be recycled into other things.

10. Batteries


Can you believe there was a time when people didn't recycle batteries? Well fear no more, places like RadioShack and Office Depot, accept reusable ones, as does the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation.

11. Packing peanuts

packing peanuts

The unfortunate thing is that these little things take up a lot of room and don't biodegrade causing lots of problems. However, many of the shipping companies that use them will take them back. So there is an upside to all those pesky little things. You can find drop off locations at loosefillpackaging.com

12. tights/panty hose


Used pantyhose can be turned into such things as park benches, playground equipment, carpets, ropes and even toys. In fact, the company No Nonsense has started a program to recycle their own tights, much like Nike's shoe recycling program.

13. Keys


One way to do this is to give them to the Keys for Hope Foundation which collects the keys and turns them into scrap metal and helps raise money to feed the hungry.

14. Cosmetics


Lush allow customers to bring back product pots; MAC gives you a free lipstick if you return the packaging from 6 of their products; Origins will accept packaging from any cosmetics company for recycling or energy recovery, and even give customers a free sample of one of their products.

15. Carpeting


The main thing to note here is that while carpet can't be taken to a normal recycling facility or just put out with the other recycled stuff, but like most of the things on this list, it can be taken to a carpet reclaim facility and they will recycle it there for you.

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