Out of The Box Ways to Recycle

We all know that the ultimate goal should be to create as little waste as possible. Sometimes, there are household essentials that will, yes, eventually make it to the garbage. However, many of these items come with recycling options! The more that large companies realize what damage we are doing with our landfills, the more that they are using their reach and ability to reuse and recreate.

Many of the household items listed below have specific organizations that aid in recycling these goods, while others you may just have not known were recyclable! This list could go on for a very long time (and we encourage the addition of new knowledge on the recycling front!). For starters, here are 10 common household items you may not have realized are recyclable:



Renovation is a common occurrence. We’ve all seen the giant dumpsters outside of brownstones filled to the brim with building materials. Ever noticed a rolled carpet flopped into one? There’s a chance that carpet could have a better use! There are many individual carpeting companies that have their own recycling programs, and larger organizations that serve as carpet-reclamation facilities that you can contact for recycling.


 Compact fluorescent light bulbs

Similar to renovation dumpsters, we’ve also all unfortunately run into a shattered fluorescent on the sidewalk. That may be because compact fluorescent light bulbs are a bit of a hurdle when it comes to disposal because they contain mercury. Good news is, companies like Ikea and Home Depot offer CFL recycling programs. Many smaller scale lighting companies also participate in this effort, so be sure to ask around.


Best practice says that those of us who use cosmetics replace the goods regularly. Whether for expiration or the fact that you’re applying it to your face (stay fresh, wash your brushes), cosmetics are supposed to be tossed often. While not a large culprit of landfill, it’s good to know that companies like M·A·C Cosmetics, Origins and Aveda have recycling programs.


Apple Devices

Years ago, PC’s dominated while Mac’s were only on the rise. Nowadays, you’d be hard pressed to find a family without at least one Apple product in use (and many old products in various junk drawers). Luckily enough, your outdated iPods, iPhones, and the like can go back into recycling and renewal at any Apple store or online.


Here at Go Green BK, we focus heavily on the future generation and families. That being said, as miniscule as Crayons’ impact on landfills may seem, we’re going to mention it. The National Crayon Recycle Program recycles your old/used crayons and gives them new life as recreated crayons. Why wouldn’t you want to spread that joy over and over again?


Mobile phones

Insofar as recycling goes, each individual part of a cell phone make it complicated to toss in one recycling bin.  However, we can talk about recycling in terms of reuse. There are charities like Cell Phones For Soldiers or Hope Line created specifically to give old cell phones new life in the hands of those in need.

Plastic Bags

As we know, there is a whole bunch going on regarding the availability of plastic bags being used in NYC. While there are many different reuseable options, if you have that cabinet stuffed full of plastic bags as many of us slightly shamefully do, know that there is relief. Almost any type of plastic bag can be recycled at many grocery stores.


Resealable sandwich bags

Ah, Ziploc. We may avoid them at all costs, but sometimes their convenience is undeniable, especially for frozen items. Consider washing and reusing the plastic bags. Or if you happen to have a few (boxes) as your crutch, know that there is help. Check out www.plasticfilmrecycling.org to locate your nearest plastic bag recycler.

We love exploring the small-scale things we can do to make a positive impact on our environment. These household items are easily found, and easily remedied in terms of recycling. It is a wonderful thing to be able to make a difference within our very homes, and when we speak of common household items, you can bet that children will catch onto the ease of recycling and incorporate it into their little lives, too! It’s a win-win for everyone involved and we encourage you to share your knowledge on all items that you know are recyclable!