7 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

7 Surprising things you can recycle with a free printable

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! That’s my motto for this year.

While the first two will be focused on throughout this year, I thought we’d focus on that last one for our first month. This month I’m going to be the recycling police in our home. In order to make sure that goes smoothly


Your Local Recycling Laws

The first step is to look up your local recycling ordinances. I wish it was as easy as me telling you what you can or can’t recycle but different areas have different laws. I’ve lived in places where recycling didn’t exist, and ones where it was mandatory.

If your city/county doesn’t currently recycle, sometimes you can find a private recycling center, or work with your local government to start a program!

When you start focusing on it, you’d be surprised what you can recycle! While not everything can be recycled through your local recycling program, there are organizations in place to help recycle even more.


You can recycle corks

Here’s are 7 surprising things that are recyclable:

  • Electronics. While a lot of recycling companies won’t take certain electronics, Best Buy has an electronic recycling program!
  • Christmas Lights. With the holidays over, if you discovered any broken or non-useable Christmas lights, you can send them to The Christmas Light Source.
  • Corks. I don’t know about you, but I’m a major wino. While normally corks aren’t recyclable, you can send them to ReCORK and they’ll recycle them for you! (or you can turn them into fun projects!)
  • Toothbrushes. Blech, this one seems gross but you can send your old toothbrushes to Terracycle for recycling! They also have programs for instrument strings, cigarette waste, water filtration systems and more!
  • Batteries. These are dangerous to just throw out, so make sure you find your local hazardous waste center for recycling. You can also recycle by mail through Waste Management.
  • Crayons. You can melt the broken ones down and turn them into new ones, or you can send them to Crazy Crayons and they’ll put them to good use.
  • Lightbulbs. Don’t throw these in your normal recycling bin, these too can participate in Waste Management’s recycle by mail program.



Your Collection Area

Recycling Printable

Now, to set up your collection area.

In our town, recycling has to be bagged in blue bags, so we have a standard trash can for it, as well as a box for collecting things like the items listed above that need to be mailed in. I created some pretty printables that you can put up over your collection areas to remind your family of what can and cannot be recycled!

The printables reflect our own local recycling rules. If you would like a blank version of the printable to add your own rules, you can find that here.

Print it out, put it in a frame/laminate it or just tape it up above your bins and you’re ready to go. Hopefully it’ll be a great reminder for your whole family.

I’ll see you at the end of the month!


This is one post in a series on our family’s journey to waste-less.

If you’d like to read more, you can find the other posts in the series here:


7 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

Recycling Wrap Up

Going Out!

Going Out Wrap Up

Ditch the Junk

Ditch the Junk Wrap Up

Also head on over to our Facebook group to interact with other people who are joining us on this journey!


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7 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

One thought on “7 Surprising Things You Can Recycle

  • January 5, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    The labels are a great idea and thanks for the links to help recycle the odd things. All in all, good reminders to improve upon my recycling efforts!


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