Friday, September 11, 2009

Recycling Treasures

Recycling Treasures

Common trash that’s actually recyclable

Every day, landfills receive literally tons of trash, including numerous recyclable items. Even if you follow your center’s requirements to the ‘T’, you may still be throwing away items that can be recycled elsewhere. To significantly reduce your waste output, better the environment, and aid your community by learning to recycle, here are recycling tips you should know

  • Textiles

Most textiles are leftover scraps, discarded clothes, or worn furniture fabric. Once textiles are collected via donation sites or factory leftovers, they are ground up into fabric pulp, which can later be weaved or knitted into items. In addition, fabrics like jean materials can be re-manufactured as insulation.


Before throwing away the old clothes a thrift or donation location did not take, do your research on possible textiles drop off sites(SCGH Recycling Center). Numerous recycling centers actually pick up textiles on residential curbsides. If you are willing to recycle a used item made by a popular brand, you can contact the company and request information about their recollection policies. For example, Patagonia allows customers to ship back their used clothes for recycling.

  • Eyeglasses

Most used prescription eyeglasses usually get put into the abyss of a drawer or are simply tossed in the trash. However, eyeglasses can be recycled. When glasses are collected, prescription lens are removed to either be smelted or reinstalled for new patients (depending on Rx). The eyeglasses frames are inspected, polished, tightened, and are prepared for reuse.


You can call 1.800.CLEANUP or visit our Recycling Search Centerto get a list of eyeglass recycling locations near you. Such centers are affiliated with a program called Give the Gift of Sight.

  • Electronics

In the year 2000, more than 4.6 million tons of e-wasteentered the landfill from America alone, and by 2007 the number almost doubled. If you are no longer using your old cell phone, computer or any other electronic, don’t just throw it away. Numerous manufacturers offer take-back programs or you can take your e-waste to a drop-off site at a box store to get e-cycled. When collected, electronics are separated by metals (gold, silver, aluminum, etc.), plastics, and batteries. The collected resources can be smelted or reinstalled.


To locate a drop-off site for a specific brand contact a representative, so a take-back package can be mailed to you with further instructions. If you are interested in dropping off your item, find a location by zip code at our Recycling Center.

  • Tires

Many of us have seen tires that have been dumped on the side of a road or in a middle of a field, but they are in fact easy to recycle. So instead of sending a tire to the grave, drop them off at a manufacturer or pick-up site. Tires can be shredded and recycled into basketball floors, shoe soles, or modified into new rubber products. According to the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA), in 2003 approximately 230 million tires were recycled, with numbers continuously growing.


Recommended drop-off sites are available on our site or can be found on specific manufacturers’ websites. Locally, recycling programs are available at various tire dealership or mechanic shops.

  • Light bulbs

In various states it is illegal to dispose of light bulbs in general waste baskets, especially fluorescents. Light bulbs contain mercury and other elements that may be toxic to ecosystems. The EPA reports that one teaspoon of mercury can contaminate a 20 acre lake forever. The recycling process primarily focuses on reclaiming mercury and precious metals from discarded light bulbs, this prevents toxic leaching into landfills and allows companies to reuse various content.


Visit your local Home Depotstore which runs a take-back program. In 2008, Home Depot announced a national recycling program, in all of its 1,973 stores. Drop-offs may also be done via FedEx with

Top tip:

Before you throw away any items or set out your curbside recycling, it is recommended that you check the recycling policies of your local center. If items are placed in the recycling bin that may in fact be trash, they will be promptly sent to the landfill, and you may even receive a fine. However, the recyclable items placed in your garbage usually do notget sorted into recycling.


to your wallet

Diverting trash out of your curbside recycling bin and following the center’s policies for item conditions will keep you from receiving a fine.

to the Earth

Remaining alert and dedicated to recycling will significantly reduce landfill waste, the production of new resources, and fuel.

Common Mistake

Many households simply place their recyclable items into the bin without thinking twice; however, all items must follow various policies. For example, when recycling textiles, do not set out wet or industrially stained items, because they will not be recycled. It is vital that you discuss your center’s or drop-off location’s expectations with a representative. Your local recycling center can be found using our database search by clicking here.

Learn More

Careful where you toss that!

SCGH’s Recycling Center

Environmental Protection Agency’s Benefits of Recycling

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