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Recycling for Charity: Five Things to Recycle That Can Help More Than Just Our Environment

Updated on August 29, 2016

We all know that recycling is good for the environment, but did you know that some items can also help humanity? In this hub I will discuss several ways that you can charitably recycle or reuse many everyday items that you probably have in your home right now.

Old Keys

I bet most of you out there have some old keys hidden in your closets, desk drawers, and couch cushions. Most keys these days are made out of aluminum or brass, which is a recyclable material. When I was trying to figure out what to do about the huge stack of keys I had in my garage, I came across Keys for Kindness. This organization recycles your old keys and donates the money generated from it to the National M.S. Society. According to the organization, the donations help fund research to find a cure for multiple sclerosis. All you have to do it gather your old keys and mail them to Keys for Kindness. They will kindly take care of the rest for you.


While I don't have any of these lying around, many women I know have a stash of old ones that have seen better days. Instead of tossing them out with the Monday morning coffee grounds, why not donate them? I found this company, BB Recyling, who accepts bras of nearly all condition. According to their website, "The Bra Recyclers [are] excited about supplying recycled bras to women in communities around the world." While this company may not be a non-profit organization, they do make it easy for you to recover and recycle your old bras. Donations will help support many women of developing countries while also preventing or delaying material from entering a landfill.


Cellular Phones

How many cell phones do you have? Probably a shoebox full of them. I'm sure everyone knows 'that guy' that always gets the latest phone the day it comes out. Next time he gets a new phone, ask him if he donated the old one to charity. According to The Volunteer Guide, discarded cell phones account for nearly 65,000 tons of toxic waste each year. There are also more than 500 million cell phones lying around not being used. There are many organizations out there that accept old and used cell phones (by mail too). Most of the phones are put to good use. Cell Phones for Soldiers, 911 Cell Phone Bank, and Cell Phones for Life are some of the best organizations to donate too. Some of the cell phone providers are now jumping on this bandwagon as well. Many of them now offer cell phone recycling services for free when you upgrade to a new one. So please clean out your closets and help some battered women while preventing more toxic chemicals from going to the landfill.

Used Printer Cartridges

When you printer spits out blank paper, should you just toss the empty cartridges out with the trash? No! Not only can harmful ink leak into the environment, but recyclable plastic would also be thrown out. Most office supply stores these days offer recycling programs. They may also offer discounts on new cartridges to entice you to give them your empty ones. Instead of supporting corporate America, why not donate it to charity instead? Recycle for Breast Cancer has free recycling programs available to anyone. They will provide you with free prepaid shipping labels, envelopes, collection boxes, or send a truck to your house. This company also accepts cell phones, computers, and appliances as well. Cartridges for Kids is also a great organization that accepts ink and toner cartridges.


Did you know that the average U.S. woman owns 17 pairs of shoes? Did you also know that many of those shoes never get worn? Did you also know that most new shoes are partly made from synthetic (non-biodegradable) materials? Instead of letting them collect dust or enter a landfill in your next spring cleaning adventure, consider donating them to someone in need. You can also donate gently used shoes as well. Soles4Souls is a great organization that distributes shoes to people in need. They have been around since 2005 and have given away over 14 million pairs of shoes. So next time you clean out your closet, send a pair of shoes over to Soles4Souls instead of the dump. You'll help someone out and while also preventing or delaying material from entering a landfill.


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    • profile image

      Rachel Ganther 4 years ago

      I need an address - as to where I can send keys to Keys for Kindness - I don't see an address on their website! help!

    • profile image

      Aurearay 6 years ago

      Thanks for the info I will pass it around it's really good for me :)

    • CWanamaker profile image

      CWanamaker 6 years ago from Arizona

      Yes everyone can do their part; and in most cases its not too difficult to do. Even one person can make a difference.

    • Brinafr3sh profile image

      Brinafr3sh 6 years ago from West Coast, United States

      Thank you CWanamaker, this article is very informative, of course. These days every one needs to recycle more than ever before, and bookmarking this hub would be a great start. Voted up, awesome, useful.