10 things you didn’t know you could recycle 29



View Profile

Do you remember a time when absolutely nothing went to waste? What happened to those days? In the age of convenience, rubbish is becoming a serious issue for our planet and our people – after all, who wants to live next to landfill?

If you’re already a keen recycler, you’ll be excited to know you can take it a step further and get back to the mentality of “waste not want not”. While you’re at it, teaching your grandkids to “reduce, reuse, recycle” will help create a much better world for them to live in.

Here are 10 things you might not know you can recycle – start collecting today!

1. Soft plastic packaging

Waste_plastic-bag_320x480If you don’t already know about this, it could well blow your mind. If you do nothing else on this list, recycling your soft plastic packaging will dramatically reduce the volume of rubbish you send to landfill each week.
Any “scrunchable” plastic, including clingwrap, can be recycled via the RedCycle program. That means chip packets, frozen pea bags, pasta packets, the secret plastic bag in your cereal box. Even that silvery foil-like plastic used for biscuits can be deposited in the green bins and most Coles and selected Woolworths supermarkets across Australia.
Find your nearest participating supermarket here and look for this green bin:

2. Printer cartridges

The ink cartridges in your printer can either be refilled and reused at CartridgeWorld or the materials recycled and made into plastic wood that is used for all kinds of things like outdoor furnishing and marine products. Find out the closest drop-off point here.

3. Coffee pods

Do you own a Nespresso coffee machine? Those pesky plastic pods can be recycled into other plastic products thanks to a fantastic company called TerraCycle. Sign up for the Nespresso brigade, collect your pods and then post them in for free; they will be turned into plastic products like plant pots. More information here.

4. Mobile phones

The materials in mobile phones are almost 100 per cent recyclable, so make sure you send them in to MobileMuster. Find out where you can drop them off or pick up a postage-paid envelope to send it your old phone here.

5. Batteries

Every single Aldi store now has a battery-recycling bin, so collect your old batteries in a box and drop them off next time you go to the store.

6. Cigarette butts

For anyone who still smokes, TerraCycle will take all your butts, plus tobacco pouches and the plastic lining on the outside of cigarette packets. All you have to do is dump the entire contents of your ashtray into the bag provided, then post it away when it’s full. Details here.

7. Bras

If you have bras that don’t fit or you find uncomfortable, don’t throw them in the bin. There are women in developing nations who would give their right breast for a quality brassiere. The Uplift Project will deliver your unwanted bras to women in the Pacific, all you have to do is send them in. Find out more here.

8. Toothpaste tubes & toothbrushes

TerraCycle also collects toothpaste tubes and turns them into useful products. You can either collect them yourself and post them to TerraCycle using a postage-paid envelope, or find your nearest drop off location here.

9. Triggers and pumps on beauty and cleaning products

Many products like moisturisers, body wash and cleaning solutions come in containers that can be recycled through your kerbside collection. But what about the pumps, triggers and lids? TerraCycle has a recycling program for them too: collect every hand wash pump, body wash pump, beauty product pump, cleaning product trigger, laundry liquid tap, dish tabs plastic bag, beauty product tube and face wipes packaging, then send them in to be recycled! Details here.

10. Old blankets, towels

Holey towels and blankies that aren’t any use to humans will be welcomed by animal-rescue shelters who can use them to clean or to make a cosy corner for lost cats and dogs. Phone first, then drop them off!

Did you know you could recycle these items? Do you know of any others that people may not be aware of? 

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. This is fantastic information, thank you SAS. Now I have no excuse !! My local Aldi has a re-cycle box for batteries, and I knew about donating my old blankets to the RSPCA and other pet places like my local Vet

  2. Sue ferrari. Cigarette one and pods one but some other interesting too

  3. Some good stuff here, but I am afraid that our grandchildren are some of the worse offenders of throwing rubbish into land fill. Our modern society is a throw away one and many kids cannot be bothered to even pick up after themselves let alone take recycled stuff to outlets. We were brought up to be thrifty and recycle, so I think the targeted over 60s in this article is a bit moot.

    3 REPLY
    • So this is exactly WHY we need to spread the word and lead by example to reduce the waste going to landfill and maximize the use of our precious resources. Remember that One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure!

    • I have just been telling a young person that I am recycling bubble wrap that removalists use for packing large items like fridge /freezers, lounges etc. I use it to pad wooden coat hangers then knit a cover. This young person was very perceptive when he said it would take me a hundred years to use the amount I have and why did I not just put it in the rubbish bin. My reply was that in the next hundred years I may find other uses for this product that could save me many dollars.

    • Actually it’s interesting you say that. When I go shopping with my bags and boxes the checkout ladies at Harris Farm tell me that the over 60’s are the worst offenders and refuse to give up their plastic bags.

  4. Boil old too brushes and the bristles.will fall out.. when the plastic becomes pliable bend them to form circles and link them together in chain fom. Great for teething babies and safe.

    2 REPLY
  5. I give old sheets to the local car mechanic which he tears up to use as rags. Pet shops weren’t interested when I offered them.

  6. We are and have been very environmentally conscientious. We embraced the clean up Australia campaign from the earliest days of it’s conception, we washed our children’s nappies instead of throwing soiled disposable nappies into landfill, we didn’t have a television and electronics in every room as our children and grandchildren do, we watch how much water and power we use and embrace solar power etc. We embraced the bans on CFC’s and introduction of lead free petrol in our cars, lead free paint, recycling, repairing instead of junking, making polluters pay … Everything we started is giving our children more energy efficient cars, homes and work places. I think our grandchildren will look back and thank us for starting the ball rolling for a cleaner World. Lets hope they can leave a similar legacy to their grandchildren.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *