8 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle

With worldwide efforts to be more environmentally friendly, more and more people are looking to expand their lists of recyclable items. While everyone knows that aluminum cans and plastic bottles can be recycled, there are many other surprising items that can be recycled as well. Here are a few things that can be recycled that may not have crossed your mind before.

1. Cars
Believe it or not, one of the largest items you own can be recycled once it has served its purpose. Scrap car recycling has gotten more popular in recent years and greatly reduces the impact of these huge machines on the environment. This process ensures that harmful chemicals in cars do not enter the natural environment and wreak havoc.

2. Cooking Grease and Oil
Just like how excess fats can block arteries in the human body, they can also cause problems for drains and the environment. Luckily, there are some collection facilities that will safely dispose of grease and oil. If you want to take care of it yourself, then you could consider making bird food for the cold winter months or biodiesel fuel.

3. Crayons
Recycling crayons is remarkably easy and can be done professionally or even in the comforts of one’s own home. Crayons very easily melt and can be made into new forms, making it possible to use them again and again. Even though crayons are mostly non-toxic, they still take up extra space in landfills, so it is great to keep them in use as long as possible.

4. Running Shoes
For avid runners, shoes can sometimes only last a few months, which means adults can go through dozens of pairs in their lifetime. Instead of letting all those pairs stack up in landfills, consider donating them to organizations like Give Your Sole and Nike Reuse-a-Shoe. Give Your Sole collects shoes and distributes them to those in need while Reuse-a-Shoe repurposes shoes into playground and track surfaces to give them a new life.

5. CDs
Many avid iPod and MP3 users have found themselves with mounds of obsolete CDs cluttering their closets. Instead of just tossing them into the trash, consider recycling them. Some music resellers will gladly take them because there may still be some value for collectors. If not, look for a recycler in your area who will make sure these once treasured music storage devices do not end up taking up space in a landfill.

6. Mattresses
Mattresses are large, bulky items that can take up tons of space in local landfills. Recycling is a great alternative because 80% of the components of a mattress can be fully recycled. Large recycling organizations will take apart the mattresses and individual recycle every possible component to make sure that as much of the mattress as possible gets a new life.

7. Refrigerators
Recycling an item as heavy as a refrigerator may be easier than you think. Many cities offer curbside pickup for these large items. Refrigerators and other household appliances contain deadly chemicals that could be devastating to the local environment. Therefore, it is imperative that they are disposed of properly in a manner that reduces its potential environmental impact.

8. Trophies
If you grew up in the age of participation trophies, then you probably have dozens lurking in the back corner of your closet. Instead of throwing out these reminders of fond memories of recreational soccer when you were four years old, consider sending them to a company that will recycle them into new trophies. It will put a smile on another young child’s face.

Daily human life can put a huge strain on natural resources, which is why it has become more important than ever to recycle as much as possible. Hopefully, these suggestions of unconventional things to recycle will inspire you to think outside the box to reduce your impact on the environment.

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