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How to recycle shoes, crayons, toothbrushes and other random things

How to recycle shoes, crayons, toothbrushes and other random things

Almost 30 pounds of old crayons from across the country land at Kim Martonosi’s door every day. With the help of his children, he arranges the wax canes worn and broken by colors, melts the compartments of light gray and light green and pink in a sticky whirlpool, and shapes the new creations in stars and earthworms and simple sticks . In the last 25 years, Martonosi’s business, Crazy Crayons, has saved just over 120,000 pounds of colorful wax, the equivalent of about 12 million new coloring tools.

You probably know that you can not put broken crayons in the recycling bin; After all, they are made of paraffin wax derived from petroleum, not plastic, paper or metal. But you can grant them new lives by sending them to Martonosi. And crayons are not the only random objects that are difficult to recycle that can be rescued from the landfill.

Like Martonosi, most of the people responsible for unusual recycling work independently of the government, and their policies vary widely. Some of these companies require that you pay for shipping costs, while others offer their services free of charge. (Even if you do not have to prepare, we recommend that you consolidate your garbage in the least number of shipments possible, so that you do not use more resources to send it). Here are five articles of daily use that you never knew could recycle

1. Toothbrushes

Do not worry, nobody is going to put your old toothbrush in your mouth. But a recycling program called TerraCycle, which works with the Colgate brand, can transform your old oral care products-squeezed toothpaste tubes, empty wire containers, battered toothbrushes and all their packaging-into new plastic products .

Once you register online, Terracycle will email you a shipping label. Put it in a package of your dental cleaning remains to be discarded, free of charge. Although Colgate sponsors the program, you can send any brand of oral hygiene products.

2. Sneakers

When you buy a new pair of sports shoes, do not throw away the old ones: many local organizations, like It’s From The Sole, accept donated footwear. To find a good home for your previous kicks, check out Soles for Shoes.

If your shoes are well and really busted, you will not want to pawn them with a new owner. In that case, transpose them to a new life as part of the surface of a floor so that other soles trample everything. As part of its Reuse-A-Shoe program, Nike has collected more than 28 million pairs of athletic footwear since the 1990s. The footwear giant is partnering with other companies to turn their destroyed footwear into runway surfaces, tennis courts and basketball and game areas. To take advantage of this program, you can leave your old shoes in a Nike or Converse store with a collection bin. If you do not live near a store, Reuse-A-Shoe allows you to send your peers to the Nike recycling facility in Belgium, but you will have to pay for the shipment.

And Nike is not the only shoemaker in the recycling game. You can also download your worn footwear at certain Asics stores. Asics partnered with a recycling company called I: CO to transform their sneakers into new products, such as soles for new shoes.

3. Glasses

Your prescription lenses are aimed at improving your specific vision problems. But if you take the lenses out of your old pair, you can recycle the metal or plastic frames (in most neighborhoods, check local recycling guidelines). If your specifications are in very good shape, you can do even better: send them to an organization for visually impaired people who can not afford their own glasses.

New Eyes will send their glasses abroad with medical missions and international non-profit organizations. You will have to pay for the shipment, but the cost is tax deductible.

Respectacle partners with the Lions Club to distribute glasses in the United States. They create a catalog of couples who donate and send them to someone who needs a similar recipe. You can leave your glasses at a collection center or send them to the Respectacle headquarters in Minnesota, but you will have to pay for the shipment.

There is also OneSight, which will not donate their glasses directly. Instead, they will use the income from the recycled materials to pay a new pair for another patient. You can leave your old specifications at participating stores LensCrafters, Sears Optical or Pearle Vision.

Even if you wear contact lenses, you should not throw old lenses down the drain. Instead, you can mail small circles and their containers to Bausch for free recycling. That way, the plastic debris that floated on your eyeball would not end up floating in the ocean.

4. Tennis balls

If you have more tennis balls than your dog could reach, you can mail them to RecycleBalls. This company removes the orbs from their felts and turns them into the rubber crumb that covers the tennis courts and the surfaces of the playing fields. Each week, loads of approximately 20,000 balls, sent from tennis clubs and people from all over the country, arrive at their offices in Vermont.

You will need to store at least a hundred tennis balls before you can throw away your garbage. Therefore, you may want to group resources with your neighbors or your local club before sending them to the recycling company. The company requests a donation of $ 15 with each box, but if the cost is a barrier, you can complete a financial aid form.

5. Crayons

Of course, we have not forgotten crayons. Send your shredded art supplies to the Crayon National Recycling Program in Colorado, which collects materials for Crayons Crazy. The wax will end up in a tub in Martonosi’s workshop.

Alternatively, you can mail them to The Crayon Initiative in California, which melts old crayons and sends the new batch to children’s hospitals across the country. Both organizations require that you buy your own postage for your box of colorful products.

Crayola, that colossus of crayons, does not have its own return program for waxy sticks. However, the company accepts used markers of recycling programs throughout the school.

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