8 Surprising Items You Can Recycle

To recycle or not to recycle? You probably have some items around your home that have outlived their usefulness, but you aren’t sure whether to trash them or put them in your recycling containers. Here is a list of some things you may have thought were not recyclable, yet surprisingly, are prime candidates for recycling.

  1. Adult Toys
  2. No need to blush! Sex toys are, indeed, recyclable. They are sterilized and sorted, and then, if there are mechanisms in them, those are taken out, refurbished and resold. Silicone and rubber items are pulverized and added to a binding agent so they can be made into new toys.

  3. Soap
  4. Some hotels don’t throw their used soap away, but recycle it. The used soap is sanitized, steamed and tested for bacteria. It is then made into new bars and sent to people all over the world who don’t have access to soap or the means to buy it.

  5. Mattresses
  6. There are a number of mattress recycling facilities that will hack up your old mattresses and box springs. The metal from the springs is removed magnetically before the wood is chipped. Foam and cloth are shredded up, baled and sent on to become other things, such as wallpaper.

  7. Pantyhose
  8. Pantyhose are most often made from nylon, which takes decades to decompose. Alternatively, they can be ground up and made into other useful items, including playground equipment, carpets, toys and park benches.

  9. CDs and DVDs
  10. With many people now downloading their media, CDs and DVDs are becoming passé. They’re made from polycarbonate, a material that does not decompose. Make sure to put them into your recycling container, because they can be ground down to a powder in a recycling facility, and used to make plastic for various things such as cars, pavement and building material.

  11. Plastic Bags
  12. Many grocery stores have recycling containers for old plastic shopping bags. Check with them to see what exactly you can drop off. Some will also take sandwich bags, bread bags and dry cleaning plastic wrap.

  13. Packing Balls
  14. Styrofoam packing pellets (the little ones that stick to everything) can also be recycled. There are some companies that will take them back and reuse them. Check with them before adding them to recycling containers.

  15. Gift Cards
  16. Gift Card are made of PVC and can be melted down and used to make other gift cards.

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