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The A to Z of Unusual Recyclables


Aerosol cans – recycle these with other aluminium tins. Ensure that the plastic lid is removed and that there is nothing inside the can.

Antiperspirant and deodorant sticks – break the stick up into its components and recycle the plastic pieces.


Backpacks – donate these to schools or needy associations.

Batteries – many home depots accept old batteries, implementing their own recycling systems. Collect your old cells and deliver them at a local drop-off to protect the landfills.

Beach balls – these are not recycled, so rather donate them to a children’s organisation or a second-hand store.

Books – remove the inner pages from hardcover books and recycle these, while those with soft covers can easily be recycled with the rest of your paper.


Carpeting (nylon) – certain carpet manufacturers have their own recycling initiatives. Investigate ones near you.

Cars, trailers, and motorcycles – all that metal is great for recycling, even if the vehicle has been badly damaged.

Cell phones – donate these to organisations that can use them, even if they require a refurbishment.

Computers – return these to their manufacturers, who are obligated to recycle them.

Crayons – melt your crayons and make unique candles from them. Alternatively, donate them to local children’s charities or needy school.

Crocs – donate your old Crocs to families and people in need.


Eyeglasses – only metal frames can be recycled, so drop them in your local recycling bin. If there is a nearby home or organisation that could use them (whether or not they need to be repaired), donate them.


Fake plastic credit cards – these are often sent as marketing gimmicks, but cannot be recycled. Turn them into toy credit cards for your children.

Fire extinguishers – call your local fire equipment company and ask them to dispose of your extinguisher if it is not refillable.

Formal wear – donate your old ball gowns, cocktail dresses or even wedding dress to girls that cannot afford their own Matric dance dress or wedding gown.


Glue – rinse the bottle out and send it for plastic recycling.

Greeting cards – Christmas and birthdays are characterised by cards from friends and family. After the event, either recycle the paper (if it is not laminated or full of embellishments), or cut the front off and reuse them for gift tags or even cute pictures in the home.


Hangers (plastic) – donate these to second-hand stores that may need them for selling or to display their own goods. These are not always accepted for recycling.

Hangers (wire) – dry cleaners and Laundromats can often use these. Alternatively, simply recycle them with the rest of your metal goods.

Hearing aids – research various organisations near to you that may be in need of used hearing aids. Some of them may be able to refurbish them for use by someone needy or disadvantaged.


iPods – Apple stores give consumers 10% off of their new iPods if they bring their old one in (same-day purchase).


Jars (glass)recycle, recycle, recycle. Remove their metal lids first and toss those in the metal recycling bins.


Keys – take these (as well as any other metal items) to a scrap metal yard, which will pay you for your contribution.


Leather accessories – these cannot be recycled, so rather donate leather products that can still be used to needy people.


Metal cutlery – toss these into the normal metal recycling bin.

Mirrors – there are chemicals involved that cannot be recycled. So, rather donate these or sell them.


Paint – some places have implemented paint recycling programmes. This requires some research but is well worth the investigation.

Phone books – recycle these in your local paper bin.

Prescription medication – contact The Starfish Project ( to enquire regarding the donation of these medicines to patients in needy areas.

Printer-ink cartridges – these take 450 years to decompose in the landfills. Always refill your cartridges and only buy ones that have this capacity.


Recreational equipment – either trade your sporting goods (old tennis rackets, golf sticks, balls, and so on) in or donate them to charity, where they are sure to be appreciated and used.


Soap dispensers – simply put these into the plastic recycling bin.


Tinfoil – this should go in with other aluminium (not tin) cans for recycling (rinse it first and squash it into a ball).

Tyres – when replacing your tyres, ensure that the dealer will be recycling your old ones. There are many uses for this rubber.

Toothpaste tubes – always buy aluminium tubes rather than plastic ones, as these can be recycled.


Wheelchairs – always donate these to organisations in need.

Wine corks – there are so many uses for wine corks, including notice boards and unique flooring, if you are into DIY. Otherwise, cork is biodegradable, so simply toss it.

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This article was posted by - South Africa Eco-Friendly Guide.

One Response to The A to Z of Unusual Recyclables

  1. You actually make it seem so easy together with your presentation however I to find this matter to be actually something which I believe I’d by no means understand. It seems too complex and very extensive for me. I am looking forward for your subsequent put up, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

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