Top 20 Things to Recycle and Reuse

When people think of recycling, they think about recycling things such as aluminum cans, plastic water bottles and plastic grocery bags, But in reality, you can recycle almost anything. Here is a list of 20 common things you can recycle.


Infographic Summary:

Food – Setup a compose heap in your backyard. Instead of throwing old food in the trash, throw it in the compost heap. You can use it to fertilize your garden.

Cell phones – Cell phones can be recycled for their parts which are re-used in new cell phones.

Computers – If your computer still works, you can donate it to a local library, school or charity. If it no longer operates, contact your local recycling center

Tires – Tires are harmful for landfills as they consume alot of space and can leach dangerous chemicals over time and can cause fire hazard. Tires are taken by local recycling centers and can be used for a variety of purposes. These tires can be shredded for rubber mulch, recycled into new tires and recycled into rubber containers.

Magazines – Since magazines are made up of paper, all recycling centers and local curbside recycling services will accept these. You can also donate to local schools or libraries.

Paint – Paint is considered a hazardous waste. You cannot dispose of paint by dumping it into a drain or storm sewer. Many recycling centers accept paint which can be blended into some fuels at different manufacturing facilities.

Books – Books can be donated to schools, libraries and other charities. Also, these can be recycled at your local recycling center or in your local curbside recycling program.

Batteries – If you’re not already using rechargeable batteries, please consider doing so. Most recycling centers will accept batteries, depending on its type.

Plastic Bags – Every supermarket has a bin located at the front for dropping off your plastic bags. You can also create some interesting decorative items from old supermarket plastic bags.

Televisions – Old TV sets fill landfills and can leak dangerous chemicals harmful to animals and humans as well. If the TV works, you can sell it or give it to charity. If it does not work, most local recycling centers take them free of charge.

Fire Extinguishers – Contact your hazardous waste center to learn how to recycle your fire extinguisher.

Paper – Every type of paper can be recycled, including notebook paper, newspapers, food packaging, etc. All recycling centers now have recycling programs with curb side pick-up for paper.

Cardboard Boxes – Many local non-profit firms accept these bones for their personal use.

Shoes – Charities and thrift shops will accept shoes which can be used. Nike also has a used show program that sends athletic shows to Africa and Latin America.

Clothes – Clothes are one of the easiest things to reycle as so many charitable organizations will accept them such as Goodwill, veteran’s Support Groups including many churches around your locality.

Glass -Recycling glass containers of any type is generally about 33% more efficient than producing it from scratch. This saves energy consumption which reduces carbon emissions.

Vintage Jewelry – Almost every jewelry items can be melted down and refashioned into something new for you. Recycle your jewelry and get a new item with an improved design.

Old Christmas Lights – How many times have you pulled out the Christmas lights from last year and they did not work? Instead of throwing them away, recycle them. Some lighting companies will take these.

Appliances – Washers, dryers, stoves and refrigerators are accepted by local thrift shop or charitable organizations. If the product is not working, take it to your local recycling center.

Eyeglasses – Old glasses can be donated to many charitable organizations. If you are not aware of any such organization, your eye doctor will also take them and send them to a deserving charity.

Interesting Recycling Facts:


  • 24 Million tons of aluminum is produced annually, 51,000 tons which ends up as packaging in the UK.
  • If all the cans in the UK were recycled, we would need 14 million fewer dustbins.
  • 36,000,000 work of aluminum is thrown away each year.


  • Every family in the UK use an average of 500 glass bottles and jars annually.
  • The largest glass furnace produce over 1 million glass bottles and jars per day.
  • Glass is 100% recyclable and can be used again and again.


  • Recycled paper produced 73% less air pollution than if it was made from raw materials.
  • 12.5 Million tons of paper and cardboard are used annually in the UK
  • On average a single family in the UK use 38kg of newspapers per year


  • 275,000 tons of plastic are used each year in the UK, that’s about 15 million bottles per day.
  • Most families throw away about 40kg of plastic per year, which could otherwise be recycled
  • The use of plastic in Western Europe is growing about 4% every year