6 Surprising Things You Can Recycle


It’s a great time for conservation, with more people going green in their everyday living than they ever have before. By using glass containers for leftovers, reusable bags at the grocery store, and refillable water bottles for our on-the-go drinks, we reduce the amount of waste that piles up around us. As much as we’ve improved our conserving and reusing, there are still some things that are commonly thrown in the landfill that can actually be recycled. Aside from those cardboard boxes and soda cans, there is so much more to be recycled instead of thrown away. Below, Ranger Mac has created a list of 6 things that you can recycle that you might not have known about before:


There are countless old computers, printers, and cellphones sitting in landfills that could have easily been recycled. If you take the time to look, there are many locations that will take your old electronics and recycle them for you.

Computers - E-Stewards is a great company to use that will help you find reputable people who will help you recycle that old computer. Did you know that computer parts are often toxic and can harm the nearby environment if thrown into a landfill?

Technotrash – This includes items such as old iPods, cell phones, chargers, digital cameras, and more. GreenDisk’s Technotrash has a techno waste program. For a low cost of $11.95, they will send you a cardboard box for all of these old odds and ends to use to ship them back for recycling. This cost covers the shipping of up to 25 pounds and the recycling fee.

Ink/Toner CartridgesStaples will give you a $2 voucher towards your new ink cartridge if you take in your old one to be recycled. (They offer other recycling services at certain locations.) You can also use Recycle Place, which will pay you a few cents up to a $1 for your old ink cartridge, based on the brand. So not only are you recycling, you are also getting paid for it. That’s a win-win!

Old Crayons and Markers

Have you ever opened your kids’ crafts bucket or cleaned out their backpacks at the end of the school year and found a bunch of old, beat-up crayons that are past their good days? Now you can do more than just throw those in the trash. You can send your old, used crayons to Crazy Crayons. They will take your old crayons and recycle and repurpose them for other uses. Also, Crayola allows schools to recycle used markers through their ColorCycle campaign.

Holiday Lights

You take out those dusty old Christmas lights, plug them in, and… they don’t work. You’ve tried replacing bulbs, but it seems like the whole strands needs to be replaced. It may be tempting to just toss them in the trashcan, but did you know that you can actually recycle those old strands of lights? Home Depot launched a campaign to recycle old holiday lights back in 2014, and it's still going strong.

Artificial Christmas Trees

Sometimes more than just your lights need replacing for the holidays. Is the artificial Christmas tree starting to look shabby? These large decorations are a pain to throw out, and most places won’t take them for recycling. However, your local metal recycling place might take on the job. Call ahead to make sure they’ll take it, and they may even pay you for the metal that’s the base, trunk, and branches of your tree. Not only are you able to get rid of that old artificial tree in a more environmentally conscious way, but you can also make a few dollars at the same time!

Wine Corks

There are tons of cool DIY project ideas out there to do with your old wine corks, but what if you’re not the crafty type (or just don’t like the look of cork on every wall)? Well, you can recycle those wine corks too! Organizations like ReCORK will take them, crush them up, and repurpose them for other consumer uses.

Solo Cups

After that crazy backyard barbecue, instead of filling up an entire trash bag with those solo cups, why not recycle them? TerraCycle will accept red solo cups and many other items that are usually not accepted for recycling.

If you take the time to seek out some local places or those that work online and have your items shipped, you’ll find that there are more recycling possibilities than you’d think. Recycle as much as possible to help the environment and keep toxic substances out of landfills. It’s more important than ever before to reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as we can!

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If you want more environmentally friendly content, check out Ranger Mac’s other blogs, such as this one about leaving no trace behind while hiking and camping!