Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Scoop on Plastic: 5 Surprise Things You Can Recycle

Most of us have a Recycling 101 education. We know to separate the paper from the glass and to check the bottom of containers for the recyclable triangle and its number. In general, the lower the number, the easier an item is to recycle (you should always check to see what can and can't be recycled in your area).

But what about all those plastic items that don't come from kitchen consumption? Here are 5 plastic things you should recycle, but perhaps didn't know you could[1]:
  1. Glasses: Local organizations, like the Lions Club, collect glasses for people in need.
  2. Packaging: Some pack-and-ship stores accept donations of packing peanuts and bubble wrap.
  3. Telephones: In some areas, local public libraries run cell phone collections. The organization Protect also collects and refurbishes cell phones for domestic violence victims.
  4. Pantyhose and Tights: The company No Nonsense collects all worn pantyhose, tights, and similar products to be recycled into other things.
  5. Computers and Electronics: There are many small organizations that accept used electronics for recycling. Just make sure they are responsible with the material. In Portland, Free Geek recycles electronics via a job skills and community service program. Local Best Buy stores will also accept many electronics.
Are you a master recycler? What's the #1 thing we all need to know about recycling? Post your best tips here!

[1] This information is summarized from: Green American. (2011). 20 Plastic Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle. Green American Magazine, 86: 17.

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