Suprising Things You Didn't Know You Could Recycle

Wine Corks
Yemm & Hart located in Fredericktown, Missouri knew this because they recycle old wine and champagne corks sent in by consumers into wall and floor tiles. 

Potato Chip Bags
Terracycle is an eco-friendly organization that makes awesome products from non-recycled items

Flip Flops
The UniqueEco brand created the Recycled Flip Flop Maridadi Bracelet from the thousands of flip flops that wash up on the shores of Kenya's Kiunga Marine National Reserve. The bracelets and other items are made by local men and women who collect them for fair trade wages.

No Nonsense will turn pantyhose into such things as park benches, playground equipment, carpets, ropes and even toys. Simplydownload the mailing label and ship the pantyhose.

Expanded Polystyrene (eps)

Eps that is used in egg cartons and many fast food restaurants never used to be recyclable…until now! Check out how Recycle Tech Corp. (youtube clip, 4 mins) recycles eps into useful stuff like house insulation. Unfortunately, the economics of recycling eps is appalling. That is why it is not currently included in curbside recycling programs.

Roof Shingles
Roofs to Roads takes old shingles, grinds them up and then mixes them with hot asphalt to pave roads.

Got a bra or few in good, functional condition to donate? The Bosom Buddy Program will donate your pre-loved bra to a woman in need, whether through shelters or other programs that help women gain self-sufficiency.

Soaps and Shampoos
Clean the World is a non-profit group that’s collecting these discarded materials from hotels for redistribution around the world. In the process, Clean the World has put over 21,000 soap bars and 50 gallons of shampoo and conditioner back into human use, simultaneously eliminating over 4 tons of waste.

Ski Equipment
Items that are still usable can be donated a local Goodwill or Salvation Army store. Or sell/trade them to a second-hand sporting goods store such as Play It Again sports store, or craiglist. If you can't find anywhere local, you can ship it to Colorado-based Boulder Ski Dealswhich accepts ski boots (along with skis, bindings, poles and snowboards) for recycling, donating usable equipment to charitable programs and shredding the rest for re-use in making new products.

If you know of places that recycle unique, strange or hard-to-recycle items, we would love to hear about it! Please email us at

Your Local Community Recycling

California County Waste and Recycling Resources - Browse by county to find out where to recycle unwanted materials.

County of San Mateo RecycleWorks - Great site with its own searchable database for harder-to-recycle items like electronics and appliances for residents of San Mateo County.

San Francisco's Department of the Environment also has a similar searchable database for hard items to recycle such as polystyrene, personal care products and garden furniture.

L.A. Shares
- A non-profit program that takes tax-deductible donations of reusable goods & materials (both new & used) from the local business community. LA Shares redistributes these items free of charge to non-profit agencies and schools throughout Los Angeles.

Other Recycling Services

Earth's 911
- A ZIP code based directory of recycling options near you. You can
also call their toll-free number 1 (800) CLEAN-UP/ 1 (800) 253-2687 

- A free program run by the State of California that helps businesses
find markets for non-hazardous materials that are normally discarded.