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20 Plastic Things You Didn’t Know You Can Recycle

Tucker House Inn a Friday Harbor Hotel on San Juan Island

Bottle and jar caps: Weisenbach Recycled Products accepts clean plastic bottle caps, plastic jar caps, flip-top caps from personal care products and flexible snap-on lids (e.g. butter tub lids) to turn into funnels and other items. CapsCando.com

Brita pitcher filters: Preserve’s Gimme 5 program accepts Brita-brand pitcher filters for recycling. Visit preserveproducts.com/recycling to find a location or learn how to mail them in. Visit PreserveProducts.com/recycling/gimme5.html to find a location or learn how to mail them in.

Compostable bioplastics: Find a municipal composter at FindaComposter.com

Computers and other electronics: Find the most responsible recyclers near you at e-steward.org/find-a-recycler. Your local Best Buy store will also accept many types of electronics, large and small – from television and gaming systems to fans and alarm clocks. Beat Buy partners with responsible recyclers that do not ship items overseas, including Green Business Network™ member Electronic Recycles International. You can bring three small items per day to Best Buy for free. The comp[an charges a fee to recycle large electronics. BestBuy.com/recycling.

Eyeglasses: Your local Lions Club collects them for people in need.

Fishing line: Mail to Berkley Recycling, which turns it into fish habitat structures: 1900 18th Street; Spirit Lake IA 51360.

Gift cards and customer loyalty cards: Fill out the form at http://www.earthworkssystem.com/ recycle them. (Accepts conventional cards only, not bioplastic/compostable cards.)

Ink Cartridges: See #12 Technotrach.

Pantyhose/tights: No Nonsense collects all brands of hose, tights, and knee-highs to be recycled into other products. NoNonsense.com/PantyhoseRecycling.aspx.

Plastic Packaging: Many pack-and-ship stores will take packing peanuts and bubble wrap. For drop-off locations for foam blocks, contact ht eAlliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers.

Polypropylene (#5) plastics (all types): Preserve’s Gimme 5 program accepts all types of clean #5 plastic, which iare turned into Preserve personal care and kitchen products. Drop them off in the “Gimme 5” container available at select Whole Foods and food co-ops. Visit PreserveProducts.com/recycling/gimme5.html to find a location or learn how to mail them in.

“Technotrach”: Organizations and schools can earn money for recycling ink cartridges and small electronics like cell phones and I-pods through ProjectKOPEG.com. Recycle a large box of CDs, DVDs, jewel cases, audio and video tapes, small electronics and ink cartridges for $30 (includes postage) through Green Disk, 800.305.3475, GreenDisk.com

Telephones: Call to Protect (donateaphone.com/calltoprotect) refurbishes cell phones for domestic violence victims. Take corded and cordless phones to a local Best Buy for recycling.

Sports Equipment: Resell or trade it at your local Play It Again Sports outlet, playitagainsports.com

Tennis balls: reBounces restores old tennis balls that have lost their bound. ReBounces.com/recycle.

Tennis shoes: NikeReuseAShoe.com turns them into athletic flooring. Soles4Souls.org and OneWorldRunning.com sends still-wearable shoes to runners in need in developing countries.

Toys: Domestic Metals and Plastics accepts plastic toys of all types for recycling. Dmpgreen.com.

Trophies: LambAwards will break your trophies down and remake them into new ones. Email internet@lambawards.com, and put “recycling” in the subject line.

Tyvek envelopes: Quantities less than 25: send to Tyvek Recycle, Attn. Shirley B Wright, 8401 Fort Darling Road, Richmond, VA 23237. More than 25: call 866/33-TYVEK.

Yoga Mats: RecycleYourMat.com accepts yoga mats for recycling.

Source: “20 Plastic Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle,” Green American, November/December, 2011, p.17.

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