10 weird things you can recycle

Most of us know the items that can be recycled in our homes, from paper to glass jars, magazines and drink bottles. However, did you know there are lots of other household items that are suitable for recycling? Here’s a list to get you started.

1 - Dental products
Did you know your old toothbrush and empty floss containers can be recycled? Companies like TerraCycle have programs that accept these products for recycling. These everyday items are transformed into new products such as park benches, picnic tables and even playground equipment. So, the next time you upgrade your toothbrush, choose bamboo and give the old plastic ones the chance at a second life.

dental products toothbrush eco
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2 - Running Shoes
Got some worn-out trainers at home? Companies like Nike and Adidas have established programs to collect old athletic shoes, breaking them down into raw materials to create surfaces for playgrounds, running tracks, and even new shoes.

3 - Wine Corks If you’re a wine aficionado then rest assured your wine corks need not go to waste. Organizations like ReCork specialize in recycling used wine corks, turning them into a wide range of products from footwear and yoga blocks to building materials.

4 - Crayons
Did you know that every year a million pounds of crayons are thrown away? Next time you’re clearing out the kids’ craft box, consider donating your leftover stubby crayons. Organizations such as The Crayon Initiative collect discarded crayons and melt them down to create new crayons for children's hospitals, art programs and schools.

5 - Old clothes
If your clothes are past their best and too old and worn out to sell or donate, there are many companies now that will accept them for recycling. For instance, organizations like Cotton Incorporated and Blue Jeans Go Green collect used denim and transform the items into insulation material for homes. Global retailer H&M will also accept bags of old clothing and even give you a voucher in exchange for them.

recycled materials clothing
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6 - Greeting Cards
Don’t throw all those old birthday and Christmas cards in the bin. Some recycling programs now accept greeting cards, repurposing the paper into new products. This helps reduce the demand for virgin materials and cuts down on the environmental footprint of the paper industry.

7 - Blister packs
Some recycling programs also take empty blister packs (the kind that contains medication such as headache tablets or supplements). Through the BRAD system in Australia, you can send your empty blister packets in, where they get sorted and processed to be turned into sustainable building materials.

8 - Eyeglasses
Don’t throw away your old, broken glasses, they could help someone in need. The Lions Club is just one of many organizations which recycle and repurpose old eyeglasses.

9 - CDs and DVDs
Your old CDs and DVDs can be recycled to recover valuable resources such as polycarbonate (a type of plastic) and aluminum. If you are based in the US you can drop them off at the CD Recycling Centre of America, and worldwide many local councils have a drop-off service too. Incidentally, your local council is a great place to start when aiming to reduce your waste, you’ll be amazed at how many items they can take, from old technology to paint and fluorescent lights.

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10 - Carpet
If you’re planning to replace the carpet in your home, find a local carpet reclamation facility where they will take it away for recycling. This helps divert carpets and rugs from landfills. You can also check the manufacturer of your carpet to see if they offer a recycling program.