Beyond Paper and Plastic: 5 Unique Recycling Programs

by NextWorth on October 4, 2012

There are many ways to help protect the planet from overflowing with garbage from our landfills. Some creative people take the trash and make it into art using recycled cell phones, floppy disks, and automotive parts. Others fill the void in current recycling programs by creating their own specialized program.

Check out these five unique recycling programs:

All of the (Holiday) Lights

Getting rid of your old incandescent holiday lights to buy the new LEDs? wants you to mail in your old lights and they will give you a 25% discount toward a new LED set. Then, the collected lights are shredded and sorted into raw materials (PVC plastic, glass and copper wiring). The company recycles about 13,500 kilograms of lights a year. 

Making Old Crayons Just Like New

LuAnn Foty melts down old crayons to make new ones through Crazy Crayons, LLC. She takes the donated crayons and creates two- or three- tone crayons in shapes like stars and dinosaurs. The company has received over 35,000 kilograms of crayons. That’s a lot of recycling!

Clothes Insulate Your Body, and Now . . . Your Home?

Clothes can easily become recycled hand-me-downs or be donated to a local Goodwill store; however, the average American throws away almost 32 kilograms of textiles a year. Cotton. From Blue to Green is working to change that by recycling denim into home insulation. The company breaks down the original fibers and reweaves them to create an insulation that boasts to be 30% better at sound absorption.

Recycling: Just Do It

After you’re done wearing them, Nike wants your old shoes back! Through Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program, old shoes are pulverized into three materials: rubber, foam, and fabric. These materials then continue their life span to make other great sports products such as playground surfaces, tennis courts, and padding for hardwood basketball floors. Nike has kept over 25 million pairs of shoes from rotting in a landfill (or a closet).

Putting a Cork in Waste Production

Don’t know what to do with all those wine bottle corks? Cork ReHarvest partnered with third-party companies to collect corks and then covert them into floor tiles, coasters, furniture, and other recycled items. In 2011, the company collected nearly six million corks.

At NextWorth, we advocate recycling in all forms—especially when it comes to your electronics. As you upgrade your electronics, make sure to use a program that can help you recycle your older model devices to help prevent the spread of E-Waste.

NextWorth allows you to recycle your previous device and get cash at the same time! Visit the price calculator to see how much your trade-in electronics are worth.  

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