Paper, plastic, bottles and cans – you know these items as recyclables. Every week you sort them out and make the planet a little greener, but did you know there are other household items that you could be recycling?
Here are 10 household items you didn’t know you could recycle.
CDs and DVD cases
Now that services like Netflix, Pandora and other streaming sites are becoming more popular, you might find yourself listening to fewer CDs and watching fewer DVDs. If you’re thinking of getting rid of them, don’t throw them out just yet. You can still recycle them.
Your local curbside pick up should take in the plastic CD and DVD cases. Just remember to take out the paper linings on each box and CD case. Consolidate all your CDs and DVDs onto an external hard drive, and not only will you have more room in your home, you’ll also have less clutter.
Most televisions on the market today are sleek and slim, but even 15 years ago, TVs were much bulkier and difficult to carry. If you still have one of these TVs and are planning on upgrading it with a new model, don’t just haul your TV out to the curb or let it sit collecting dust in your basement. You can recycle them.
Older TVs have plenty of harmful chemicals lurking inside them. Some estimate that analogue televisions can have as much as 4kg of lead and other heavy materials inside. Lead is obviously not a chemical that you want seeping back into your water, so make the extra effort to recycle these items.
Your local electronics store, such as Harvey Norman, will help you recycle your old TVs. When you buy your new TV, ask to have your older model recycled. Most places will cart off your old TV when they deliver the new one.
You work out like a champ, but when your shoes become old, smelly and worn-out, it might be time to get a new pair, But what do you do with the old ones?
Nike stores have recycling drop-off bins where they take in old shoes and recycle them to create Nike Grind, which is then used for items like shoe soles, running tracks and zippers.
To some, having a bicycle means plenty of fun rides and afternoons peddling across the neighbourhood. To others, it’s a mode of transportation.
Rather than throwing away an old bike that isn’t worth selling, donate it to refurbishing charities such as Bikes 4 Life. These charities fix up old bikes and give them away to lower income families and refugees who are new to the country. It’s a cool way to help someone in need get around town without having to buy a car and pay for petrol.
You can also donate any biking gear that you no longer need to these charities. Helmets, knee and elbow pads, lights, pumps and old tires can all be refurbished and reused so don’t just throw them away.
You might not think that an old tube of lipstick or compact would be worth recycling, but considering how many people throw away make-up products that are half-used and no longer any good, then it’s not hard to imagine how full our landfills are getting.
Plastic compacts, tubes, tubs and other materials can easily be recycling. Wash out the leftover powder or lipstick that still might be in the tube, and then place it in your plastic recycle bin for curbside pickup.
Back when iPods first came out, they were all the rage. Now with new models being released every few years and smartphones serving as a music player, it might be time to get rid of that old iPod you no longer use or want.
Rather than throwing it away, take your iPod back to an Apple store in your area. They will give you a 10 percent discount on a new iPod. If you don’t plan on purchasing a new one, at least you’ll know that your iPod’s battery won’t be leaking harmful chemicals into the groundwater.
It seems silly to throw away a perfectly good pair of glasses that are no longer your prescription, but keeping them in your drawers just takes up space. Instead, you can donate your glasses and help someone in need see clearly.
Personal Eyes will take your glasses off your hands and give them to someone in need. The company will refurbish your eyeglasses and sunglasses and will give them to someone in a developing nation who is in need of glasses. This is a great opportunity to see your glasses do more for someone else.
Unused mini shampoos and conditioners
When you’re at a hotel, do you ever pick up these little bottles just in case? Chances are, they’re probably sitting in a drawer in your bathroom, and while you could empty the contents and recycle the bottles, there is something more you could do with these bottles and their contents.
Head over to your local homeless accommodation and drop off the bottles. They will definitely put the bottles to good use. People coming in and out of the can take a bottle or two with them, or those who are just arriving with nothing can take a good shower and feel clean and refreshed.
Bras and swimwear
Not every woman in the world has access to a bra or can afford one. These items tend to take up a lot of room in closets, and they’re not exactly biodegradable either. Rather than letting them sit there and take up space, donate them instead.
Project Uplift will take in old bras and swimwear, refurbish them and give them to those who do not have access to bras or cannot afford one. There are multiple drop-off points throughout Australia so check out their website to find the closest drop-off location.
Household recycling is no longer just for plastic bottles and cans. Now you can help keep landfills clean, make more space in your home and help someone in need. Try out one of these great recycling opportunities today.