This post may contain affiliate links.

You’re probably already making an effort to sort your trash, papers, and plastics from your regular garbage. But let’s face it, it’s not always clear what’s recyclable and what ends up in the trash. There are plenty of household items that might be slipping through the cracks.

While some items easily fit into your usual recycling routine, there’s a chance you’re throwing things away that could be recycled with a little extra effort.

Granted, a few of these items may require more attention, but here are ten household items that deserve a second chance at recycling.

Old Athletic Shoes

running shoes
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

If your sports shoes are in such rough shape that they’re beyond passing on to someone else and can’t be worn anymore, there’s still a way to recycle them. Search for shoe companies that run recycling initiatives, or you can drop them off at a nearby Nike store. Nike runs a Reuse-a-Shoe program that takes worn-out athletic shoes from all brands, grinds them down, repurposes them to make sports and playground surfaces, and crafts new sustainable Nike products.

Coffee Pods

coffee pods
Image Credit: The Thrifty Apartment

Though it might take a bit of extra work, you can actually toss coffee pods into your regular recycling. But here’s the deal: you’ll need to break them down for proper recycling. That means separating each pod into its components – the plastic, aluminum, and paper parts – before putting them in your recycling. As for the coffee grounds, here are 14 Incredible Ways to Repurpose Used Coffee Grounds.

Drip Coffee Pot vs Keurig: Which Is Better?

Batteries

batteries
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Batteries have the potential to be recycled – but there’s a bit of a catch. You’ll need to track down specific drop-off centers to recycle batteries properly. Your local public library, post office, or mail-in programs might have these options. To pinpoint a facility that accepts your particular type of battery, you can use Earth911’s search tool or Call2Recycle to find the right location.

Books

book in a library
Image Credit: Chinnapong / Shutterstock

If you’re a book lover facing a stack of books to part with, there’s an environmentally responsible way to handle it. Instead of contributing to greenhouse gas emissions by disposing of them in a landfill, there are several effective methods of book recycling. Book recycling options include donating them to a local library or charity or selling them online.

10 Responsible Ways to Get Rid of Your Old Books

Plastic Bags

plastic bags
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

While a few grocery stores have taken the route of completely doing away with plastic bags, many households still accumulate them. The smartest approach for recycling these bags is to give them a second life on your own whenever possible. You can utilize them as liners for smaller trash cans around your place, for picking up after your furry companions, or even as packaging material for mailing items.

Yet, if you’ve somehow amassed a rather sizable stockpile of these bags, several retailers and grocery chains offer collection bins for plastic bags. To locate a suitable drop-off spot near you, you can explore Plastic Film Recycling’s directory or How to Recycle.

Books

book in a library
Image Credit: Chinnapong / Shutterstock

If you’re a book lover facing a stack of books to part with, there’s an environmentally responsible way to handle it. Instead of contributing to greenhouse gas emissions by disposing of them in a landfill, there are several effective methods of book recycling. Book recycling options include donating them to a local library or charity or selling them online.

10 Responsible Ways to Get Rid of Your Old Books

Toothbrush

toothbrush scrubbing grout
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

You can definitely find some clever ways to repurpose toothbrushes at home, like using them as a grout cleaner or for shining up your shoes. However, if you want a more official recycling route, Colgate has teamed up with Terracycle for their own recycling program. It’s as easy as sending them your used toothbrushes and they’ll handle the rest of the process.

Crayons

crayon
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

If you’re a parent, chances are you’ve amassed a collection of used crayons in your home. Instead of letting them sit around or placing them in the trash, you can send them to crayon recycling program like Crazy Crayon. The recycling program will work their magic and transform those crayons.

Ink Cartridges

ink cartridge
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

A good number of big office supply retailers provide a way for you to recycle your used printer ink cartridges.

However, there are certain conditions to keep in mind, often related to where and when you bought the cartridges. Just reach out to your local office supply store for more information and don’t just put them in the trash.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

light bulbs
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Never toss your fluorescent lightbulbs into the trash. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that these bulbs contain mercury, which can have significant environmental repercussions if released.

Instead, locate a recycling service for your old fluorescent bulbs. When these bulbs are recycled correctly, their components, such as glass and metal, can be effectively repurposed, preventing any harm to the environment.

Old Clothes

ripped jeans
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

Most unwanted clothes ultimately find their way to landfills, and because these clothing piles don’t biodegrade, they add to environmental pollution. Fortunately, there are companies that offer eco-friendly clothing recycling services.

Website | + posts

Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *