25 Items You (Maybe) Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

When it comes to recyclables, it’s important to review local guidelines, clean containers properly (so there's minimal grease or food bits) and not “wishcycle” items that don’t belong. But what about everything else? Before you toss something in the trash bin, check to see if it can be recycled through a local drop off or mail in program. You’ll be surprised to discover how many items you can keep out of the trash—even ratty socks with holes! We recommend keeping a dedicated box in your home to add to, and be sure to keep it in a place where you’ll be reminded to drop-off these hard-to-recycle items. 

Arts & Craft Supplies. Donate to a local preschool or elementary school, be sure to call or ask ahead

Batteries (rechargeable). Lowe’s, Staples, Home Depot

Batteries (disposable). Type your zip code into Earth911.com to find a local drop off 

Bras. Free The Girls, Bras For A Cause, I Support the Girls, The Bra Recyclers

Car Seats (expired). Contact your local Target store to see if they offer a program 

Carpet. Find a collection site through Carpet America Recovery Effort

Christmas Lights. Mail to Christmas Light Source or Holiday LEDs

Clothing. Goodwill, H&M, Levis (any brand of jeans), Madewell (any brand of jeans), Salvation Army, US Again, North Face

Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. Lowe’s, Home Depot

Contact Lenses and Blister Packs. TerraCycle & Bausch + Lomb offers a mail in or drop off program here

Cooking Oil. Contact your local waste department to find a drop off

Corks. Find drop off through ReCork

Crayons. Mail to Crazy Crayons

Electronic Waste. Best Buy, Staples, Target

Eyeglasses. LensCrafters or find drop-off location through Lions Club International 

Greeting Cards. Mail to St. Jude's Ranch for Children

Incandescent LightBulbs. Batteries + Bulbs 

Ink Cartridges. Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, Target

LED Lightbulbs. Batteries + Bulbs 

Paint. Find a drop-off site through Paint Care

Pillows. Clean first and contact local homeless shelter or animal shelter to see if they accept donations

Plastic Bag & Film (ie Soft Plastics). Lowe’s, Target or find a drop off through plasticfilmrecycling.org

Plastic Plant Pots. Lowe’s, Home Depot

Shoes. Goodwill, Nike Reuse-a-Shoe (sneakers only, in any condition), North Face Clothes the Loop (shoes in any condition), Salvation Army, US Again 

Textiles (any condition). Goodwill, H&M, Salvation Army, US Again


It's always a good idea to call your local store ahead to confirm if they still offer in-store recycling (many programs were put on pause due to Covid). And, did we miss anything? Please leave a comment below!