If you're reading this article, you are probably already aware that you can recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, and certain other materials. But what do you do with all the rest of the stuff? Fortunately, here's a list of odd things and how and where to recycle them to help you keep all those items out of the landfill (and chemicals from leaching into our groundwater). This list is specific to the USA, but recycling in Europe is even easier and more convenient!

Bottled water is bad for the environment, and not good for you


  • Office Depot's Tech Trade-In program accepts LCD monitors, LCD TVs, digital cameras, desktop and laptop computers, gaming systems, MP3 players, camcorders, Smartphones/PDAs and printers. Not only that, they will ascertain the value, and give you a gift card.
  • Best Buy offers to recycle TVs under 32 inches, DVD players, computer monitors, cell phones, computers with the hard drive removed, and much more. You can bring in up to two items a day, per household, and most things are absolutely free. However, there is a $10 charge for TVs 32" and under, CRTs, monitors and laptops - but they'll give you a $10 Best Buy gift card to offset that cost. The really cool thing that Best Buy accepts is CDs and DVDs--now you can do something with all those coasters you made while you were figuring out your burning software!
  • Batteries Plus will accept most kinds of batteries, including car and truck batteries, for recycling. You can also drop off rechargeable batteries at Home Depot.


Compact Fluorescent bulbs:

  • Take them to your local IKEA or Home Depot store.



  • Donate them to your local Lions Club.

Expanded Polystyrene:

Prescription Drugs:

  • Take expired prescription drugs to your pharmacy for safe disposal.
  • Donate nonexpired prescription drugs to the Health Equity Project.


Brita Pitcher Water Filters:

  • Some Whole Foods, Inc. stores will recycle these.


Tennis Shoes:

  • Nike will accept used tennis shoes to be ground up for playground surfaces. See Nike's web site for details.


Tyvek Envelopes:

Organic Wine

In quantities 25 or less, mail these to:

Shirley Cimburke
Tyvek Recycling Specialist
5401 Jefferson Davis Hwy.
Spot 197
Room 231
Richmond, VA 23234.

Quantities larger than 25
, call 866/33-TYVEK.


Wine corks:

  • Contact Yemm and Hart, which reuses cork wine corks to make into cork flooring.

For other items, try http://www.earth911.org, which has a handy search for anything you don't think you can recycle! Remember, the less stuff you put in the trash, the fewer chemicals will leach into the groundwater and impact the safety of your drinking water, and the fewer taxes you will have to pay to buy land for and maintain your local landfills.

High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics, and Human Health
Amazon Price: Buy Now
(price as of Apr 24, 2015)
What is really in your electronics, and what those devices do to the environment when they go into the landfills.