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50 Things You Can Recycle

Updated on August 4, 2017

Recycle Everything in your Life! Start Recycling Everything If You Can't Reuse It!

You've heard of people recycling everything from printer paper to your old jeans, but you can recycle nearly everything in your life. If it can't be reused, then it most likely can be recycled instead. Car batteries and tires? Yes, those can be recycled. Can you recycle your old roof shingles? Yes! How about your shower curtain? Yes again! Find some creative ways to reduce the amount of stuff that you throw away in your life and be a little greener with the following list of 50 earth friendly tips.

Reduce your Carbon Footprint and Start Recycling Everything in your Life!

Here's a list of things that you can start recycling today...

1. Old bricks, worthless? No, those bricks can be recycled, and are very valuable to some people!

2. Use reclaimed wood for your next project at home. Use your own, or find some on freecycle, Craigslist, at your local transfer station, or

3. There are many places you can exchange or recycle your old electronics.

4. Sell off or post an ad for free metal scrap to be recycled.

5. If you have enough, your old VHS tapes can be recycled

6. Packing tape and stickers cannot be recycled, so use these sparingly in the first place.

7. Tools are very valuable items on eBay. Try selling them in lots to save time, shipping waste, and energy.

8. Empty propane tanks may be able to be taken as scrap metal, or properly disposed of at hazardous waste facilities. Reuse these whenever you can!

9. Even large items like BBQ grills can be recycled as scrap metal once the propane tank has been removed.

10. Kids toys have a new life when they're donated to thrift stores like Salvation Army or local churches.

11. Recycle your old prescription bottles, they have a million uses.

12. After they've been used up, recycle your old batteries.

13. How about other plastic numbers, what do those mean? You may be able to recycle some of them.

14. Flip flops can be recycled and repurposed a number of creative and unique ways.

15. Can't figure out what to do with your old lamps, wall décor, or knick knacks? If you can't eBay them, donate them to a thrift store for charity purposes. Craigslist and Kijiji are good alternatives, too.

16. Recycle your shipping styrofoam or reuse it.

17. Window treatments have the chance to live again as you recycle your curtains into pillows.

18. Carpet can be recycled if it is clean and usable.

19. Donate it, sell it, or recycle your television.

20. Stop by an Aveda location to recycle your bottle caps.

21. The rumor has been floating around that aluminum can't be recycled. While the rules may differ per town, you can still reuse it a few times by giving it a cleaning.

22. Reuse your old jeans in these 25 ingenious methods.

23. Why trash it? Your shower curtain is a great drop cloth or apron.

24. Your ink cartridges are accepted at many different locations online and in person, like Staples.

25. You might be able to trade in your old printer for a credit on a new one. They'll recycle it for you. There's always earth911, too.

26. Tires are a must to be recycled, and it's very easy.

27. Learn how you can recycle your roof shingles to become part of our roads.

28. Make sure when installing a new car battery that the mechanic will recycle it.

29. Cardboard boxes can be taken at your local recycling station, or sent curbside if they're small enough in most instances.

30. Save your old packing peanuts and recycle them by giving them to your local shipping company. They will gladly take them off your hands.

31. Your gently used clothing can be resold on eBay, or donated.

32. Good news! #5 plastics can be recycled at many Whole Foods locations.

33. Potato chip bags and those other foil packaging that often are used to wrap up junk food can be recycled at

34. Used (many times) ziploc containers and similar disposable plasticware can be recycled usually as #1 plastics.

35. Shaving cream metal cans are accepted in most recycling facilities with other metal cans.

36. Can tabs can be recycled with your cans. Don't pull them off, that kidney dialysis machine time rumor is false.

37. You couldn't have enough options to recycle your cellphone

38. Blankets can be recycled by donating them to animal shelters (if clean).

39. Recycle your own scrap wood and furniture by reusing it, or donate it.

40. Save that box and make some Pizza box art, or maybe just recycle it if you follow these instructions.

41. Mattresses, aerosol cans, even washing machines can be recycled.

42. Bread twist ties will be your new best friend after you read these creative uses.

43. Reading glasses can be recycled and donated, and are always in demand.

44. Old books can be sold on Amazon, donated to thrift stores, donated to schools, and to hospitals. There's always the yard sale option, too.

45. Freecycle your old sports equipment.

46. Did you know your old aluminum siding could be worth a lot of money?

47. Your old greeting cards can even be recycled creatively.

48. Wrapping paper is just paper and has many ways to be reused or recycled.

49. Don't forget all types of glass bottles can be recycled -- wine bottles, jelly jars, colored glass... these are all accepted at most recycling facilities.

50. Your old screened doors have many ways that they can be recycled.

Photo of wind turbine by warrenski under Creative Commons 2.0.

Did you realize that #5 plastics could be recycled at some places?

See results

© 2009 greenerme

Do You Have Any Recycling Tips of Your Own? - Leave your recycling suggestions here!

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    • profile image

      farheen 4 months ago

      use clay pot instead of using plastic bottle

      so we can easily recyle it as flower pot

    • profile image

      nerelo 2 years ago

      its very fun.

    • profile image

      kinsy25 5 years ago

      I like using the tops of bottles to make bag sealers. Just cut the top off a bottle and pull the top of a bag through it, then tighten the lid over the bag - keeps everything fresh.

    • profile image

      ranntg 5 years ago

      Recycling is getting more and more important! Great lens.

    • BryanLSC profile image

      BryanLSC 6 years ago

      Great lens, I've always believed in the 3Rs as the way to save Mother Earth from our destruction!

    • profile image

      thebestmultivitaminforwomen 6 years ago

      Great lens! I'm always encouraging my family and friends to recycle too.

    • captainj88 profile image

      Leah J. Hileman 6 years ago from East Berlin, PA, USA

      Terrific lens! Thanks for all of the other lens references and online resources.

    • CherylK profile image

      Cheryl Kohan 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Just stopped back to see what's new and I love that link to recycling screen doors! Well, they're all good links but that's my fave this time around - ha!

    • profile image

      denis2554 6 years ago

      Save the trees - read ebooks ;)

    • profile image

      leeleon 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Welcome to see my green lens

    • profile image

      nelsonkana 6 years ago

      Nice lens. Today am exploring top lens. Your lens is interesting and informative.

    • pyngthyngs profile image

      pyngthyngs 6 years ago

      I recycle my grocery bags by using them to clean up after my dogs.

    • profile image

      jimmyworldstar 6 years ago

      I like to reuse a lot of glass bottles and cans for other uses like as vases or storing liquids. For grocery bags, I use those for garbage and wrapping up other items.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      very useful info!

    • profile image

      leeleon 6 years ago

      i like u lens.i have some ideas to reuse eggshells. welcome to see it

    • profile image

      ruthandzion 6 years ago

      just new to squidoo and i think this is a great lens and very usful ionformation. thanks for putting the time into it

    • sarahrk lm profile image

      sarahrk lm 6 years ago

      I already recycle man of these things.

    • profile image

      Jeimuzu-san 6 years ago

      Excellent info - We have a 300 litre compost bin and recycle all our paper and food scraps!

    • ColwoodWheelWorks profile image

      ColwoodWheelWorks 6 years ago

      As part of my business I often recycle bicycles. Some bicycle get rebuilt and end up back on the road, others are stripped for usable spares and what's left goes to the scrap metal merchant.

      I guess I ought to make a lens about that :-)

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 6 years ago

      VERY useful info!

    • brittniehomesewn profile image

      brittniehomesewn 6 years ago

      this was a great read, thanks! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I loved that list of 50 things. Just had to bookmark this site!

    • profile image

      Ahyat111 6 years ago

      Its important we all do our part for our beautiful planet. great lens keep it up ;)

    • profile image

      athena2011 6 years ago

      I have consciously been trying to go greener with each day that passes so I truly enjoyed going through your lens and discovering the massive amount of things I can now do to live a cleaner and greener life. Thanks.

    • profile image

      baby-strollers 6 years ago

      We recycle old electronics like crazy. I used to throw out old computers, but no more.

    • profile image

      seedplanter 6 years ago

      I'm heading off to tweet this one. It's much too valuable to not share! I loved the ideas for using bread twist-ties. Would have never thought of some of those. I have a feeling you could add to this list, too. What a great variety of items we can recycle. Prescription bottles are another one with good suggestion. Thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      BestBuy has a recycling program for old TVs under 32 inches. Bring it in and for $10.00 they take care of it and you get a $10.00 coupon you can use at BestBuy. I have used their program and got rid of an old TV and saved $$$$$$$$ on a Blu-Ray.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      are toilets recylable ? I am getting low flow toilet. what do I do with the old toilet?

    • profile image

      seo_optimisation 6 years ago

      Great lens, recycling is super-important, especially with all of our electronics, these should ALWAYS be sent to a green recycler.

    • markettrol profile image

      markettrol 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing....Great lens....

    • BuddyBink profile image

      BuddyBink 6 years ago

      An excellent lens. There is so much we use today that can be recycled but is not and most of it people can get money for. In these tough times you would think people would pay more attention to that fact. Thank you for the lens.

    • Dragon 40 profile image

      Ken McVay 6 years ago from Nanaimo, British Columbia

      Interesting new stuff - thanks!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is GREAT information. I'm definitely going to be coming back to this lens. I just hate throwing things away when they could be recycled or reused. What about clamshell plastic cases? I try to avoid them, but can they be recycled? I tried to look at the "" link, but it won't load (at least not on my *ahemworkcomputerahem*).

    • biggking lm profile image

      biggking lm 6 years ago

      What most people do not know is that you can also recycle your car. If you were to either Google it or find someone local, they can dispose of your junk or unwanted vehicle quickly and in a matter that is safe for the environment.

    • Mclure2 profile image

      Mclure2 6 years ago

      When I print something by mistake, I keep that paper and use the back part for later

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 6 years ago

      An eye opener for everybody and I agree that if we can't reuse it let's recycle it. Thank you for sharing this information. Great lens

    • JK Sterling profile image

      Jim Sterling 6 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      Great tips, Thank you!

    • JodiFromFlorida profile image

      JodiFromFlorida 6 years ago

      Very helpful lens. I love the ideas for recycling flip flops. I am going to donate my old cellphones. Thank you!

    • modernchakra profile image

      modernchakra 6 years ago

      I had no idea on some of those items to recycle to be honest, and I try to stay pretty informed. I have a lot of junk I am going through and I feel more than ever my obligation to recycle. Thank you for putting all this together and sharing. Take care.

    • profile image

      shahrukh021 6 years ago

      very infomative

      nice work for the long life of earth

    • najem lm profile image

      najem lm 6 years ago

      nice lens! I like recyling and instead of buying, renting.

    • TIRMassageStone1 profile image

      TIRMassageStone1 6 years ago

      Recycling is fun!

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 6 years ago

      thanks for the tips. let's all go green.

    • Surfer83 profile image

      Surfer83 6 years ago

      Nice green info. Never know that old bricks and VHS tape could be recycled.

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 6 years ago

      Great lens! Thank you for sharing such a great information, now only I learn that many things around me can be recycle, but the sad things is that I can't find places or peoples that collecting those stuff that mentioned here.

    • profile image

      333ideas 6 years ago

      Great page. I added this page to my "related pages" list. Please add mine to yours...

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      A lens after my own *green* heart! Great job.

    • profile image

      RedHotDesign 6 years ago

      Great lens- thanks, from the earth. Keep up the great work!

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      Great list! I have started on some of the things on your list here and planning to do the others. Thanks for the tips! Sundae ;-)

    • squid-pinkchic18 profile image

      squid-pinkchic18 6 years ago

      Great tips! My husband should see this. He tries to recycle everything under the sun but sometimes there are things that really can't be recycled.

    • RashellR profile image

      RashellR 6 years ago

      Awesome lens with great tips. I have a friend who used old bricks as pavers for their front walkway. Absolute gorgeous.

    • profile image

      mavens 6 years ago

      Since technology improves so quickly, computer hardware becomes outdated in a very short period of time. As people buy newer and better electronics, landfills are becoming overrun with this type of garbage. Besides the space being taken up by PCs, monitors, gaming devices and appliances, there are significant health risks created by simply throwing these everyday items away. An alternative to dumping is computer recycling.

    • profile image

      AsaGislason 6 years ago

      Very important information, learned a thing or two... actually more ;-) Thanks

    • katemiya profile image

      katemiya 6 years ago

      Great lens. I firmly believe you can reuse just about everything if you are creative enough.

    • TheGourmetCoffe profile image

      TheGourmetCoffe 6 years ago

      Enjoyed reading your lens and agree with your recycling tips. Great reminder for good practices in recycling, thank you for sharing.

    • Callmenette LM profile image

      Callmenette LM 6 years ago

      I try to recycle every thing, and this makes this a little bit more clear. Thanks!

    • WorkitSmart profile image

      WorkitSmart 6 years ago

      oh yeah.. can't get enough of green livin' tips. It's just amazing what we could do if everyone just adopted ONE greener living tip.


    • Mickie Gee profile image

      Mickie Goad 6 years ago

      Books can be made into furniture and all kinds of home décor. I have a lens about how to upcycle those old books that cannot be repaired, btw.

    • pantar profile image

      pantar 6 years ago

      Great lens. Let's save our little planet. Recycling is the way to do it!

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 6 years ago

      A terrific lens! I found you on the front page of Squidoo today & so glad I did. Lots of "green" sites and lenses are pretty much just recycled content in themselves, but this one has substance; lots of truly useful tips!

    • Lenskeeper profile image

      Lenskeeper 6 years ago

      I love your lenses and your efforts to protect the environment. Great job!

    • profile image

      Runnn 6 years ago

      I love the earth and I love your lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • profile image

      casstowncharlie 6 years ago

      I'm a BIG believer in recycling.

    • OrganicHealth3 profile image

      OrganicHealth3 6 years ago

      Great Lens! But what year was it written? It seems like squidoo does not allow you to hyperlink to other sites within your text anymore or maybe I just have not found the way to do it. I like green cleaning products that's what attracted me to this lens.

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 6 years ago

      Nicely done and great resource. Blessed! :)

    • TIRMassageStone1 profile image

      TIRMassageStone1 6 years ago

      I had no idea I could recycle my roof tiles to be used on roads... who knew! Thanks

    • profile image

      paintingsgalore22 6 years ago

      I could not believe there are so many things we can really recycle. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thanks for a very informative lens about recycling

    • Micika86 profile image

      Micika86 6 years ago

      I'm a recycler - great lens!!!

    • profile image

      sheedale 6 years ago

      Go Green! This lens deserves to be read by everyone. I'm sure Mother Nature loves this lens as well!

    • Xasper8ing profile image

      Xasper8ing 6 years ago

      I can't say enough good things about this lens - it must've taken a lot of time compiling all of those resources for how to reuse/recycle things. Great job!

    • profile image

      fibaron 6 years ago

      I had no idea that a few of these things could be recycled...roof shingles I had no idea...and we just had to re-roof one of our rental properties. I sure wish I would have known or the roofer would have told me as I just assumed those had to be taken to the dump. Thanks for educating us all!

    • profile image

      allialso 6 years ago

      Who would have thought so many things were possible to recycle? I am going to have to think carefully before I throw things away next time.

    • profile image

      lynzli 6 years ago

      What a great idea! I'm going to follow your suggestion to the GREEN world!

      Tks very much.

    • mytone profile image

      mytone 6 years ago

      excellent article...I am going to recycle many of my stuffs today onwards. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      minarvente 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing,

      I am involved in a Garbage2Power Project in Romania, but I never knew that some of the things you mentioned would also be recyclables. Knowledge is Power... and you have just given us more Power to succeed. Thanks

    • profile image

      michaeljshaw 6 years ago

      I'm always looking to recycle anything possible before tossing it...thanks for all these tips!


    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      this is a great lens, i recycle a lot things in my house, i hope everybody does it too

    • Sana139 profile image

      Sana139 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing important information.Great lens.

    • profile image

      princessprattle 6 years ago

      Great Lens!

    • SpiffingDesign profile image

      SpiffingDesign 6 years ago

      I love creative recycling ideas. Not only because it helps the environment, but also because it makes me feel like it kind of gives you something for nothing :-)

    • profile image

      herculeafitness1 6 years ago

      Very good information. It's a shame that the rumor about the can tabs in exchange for dialysis treatment is not true.

    • profile image

      mensday 6 years ago

      this is good lens

    • profile image

      hazwastepros 6 years ago

      this is an awesome list, great job!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      That's really a lot of ideas there. I wish a lot more people can read this lens.

    • seattle47 profile image

      seattle47 6 years ago

      Great tips for green lifestyle!

    • profile image

      TryNerdy 6 years ago

      Great info that everyone should know

    • profile image

      Donnette Davis 6 years ago from South Africa

      i LOVE this lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Top notch lens! We recycle, compost, and have one small plastic grocery bag of trash each week for things we can't recycle or compost.

    • rangiiria profile image

      rangiiria 6 years ago

      I'm an avid recycler - great lens

    • rangiiria profile image

      rangiiria 6 years ago

      I'm an avid recycler - great lens

    • Andrew Douse profile image

      Andrew Douse 6 years ago

      Reuse old pop bottles by making a greenhouse or cloche, it works as I've has one for over 2 years, then grow yourself some lunch and save on transport as well. :)

    • profile image

      TopTenLists 6 years ago

      Great ideas. Thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Cool lens, I actually spent some time checking some of those methods out. Will finally be able to empty my storage spaces

    • profile image

      VerdantGreen 6 years ago

      I'm sure lots of people don't even know some of this stuff is recyclable. Great info!

    • CarynJSwift56889 profile image

      CarynJSwift56889 6 years ago

      I found a lot of useful information here!

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 6 years ago

      very encouraging, thank you for sharing. Great lens

    • profile image

      Be_Liciouz 6 years ago

      Nice info Sir... so useful for us to know and love our nature...

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 6 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Wonderful tips, Great lens, and Earth WIN!!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 6 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Nice ideas for recycling things I wouldn't have known can be recycled.