Things you didn't know you can recycle
Tennis shoes, cell phones, appliances ... the list goes on
Did you know that you can recycle old appliances, computers and other "technotrash," and even used tennis shoes? Co-op America Quarterly offers a list of 21 things that can be recycled or reused, instead of ending up in the nation's landfills.
For instance, Nike's Reuse-a-Shoe program grinds up old sneakers and incorporates the "Nike Grind" into playing surfaces like basketball courts. One World Running makes donated shoes available to athletes in Third World countries.
Recycline makes toothbrushes and razors from plastic yogurt containers and then recycles those products once again to manufacture plastic lumber.
You can raise money for your favorite nonprofit organization by recycling stuff like cell phones, PDAs and iPods through Project KOPEG. Also, two organizations make used cell phones available to domestic-violence victims and people in developing countries.
The Basel Action Network provides a Web site that identifies recyclers of computers and other electronic gizmos. You also probably didn't know that IKEA accepts used CFL bulbs at its stores (the bulbs can't be tossed because they contain mercury), and that Dress for Success gives donated professional clothing to low-income women entering the job market.
If something you want to recycle doesn't appear on the co-op's list, it suggests, "When practical, send such items back to the manufacturer and tell them they need to manufacture products that close the waste loop responsibly."
Published Feb. 25, 2008
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