Computers use up a lot of resources. Their chips and conductors are made of special metals dug deep from the earth, while they also use up more conventional things like plastic for their cases and things like keyboard keys and mouses. All of this advanced technology can be recycled. In order to do this, look around online the search engines for "computer donation centers" at sites like http://www.recyclingcentral.com. You should be able to find one near you!
9. Foam packaging.
Those little foam peanuts that you find in shipping material are actually recyclable and often made from recycled materials. There are local recycling centers that you can locate on loosefillpackaging.com.
CDs, DVDs, audio and video tapes, batteries, PDAs, and many other electronic components can be recycled with a convenient service called GreenDisk, which can be found online at www.greendisk.com. They will ship a large box to you for $30, which you can fill with the electronics I just mentioned and other things like batteries, both rechargeable and single-use, and cartridges for both inkjet and laser printers. Once they receive it, they recycle it in an environmentally friendly way.
7. CFL Bulbs
CFLs, or compact fluorescent lightbulbs, are recyclable at both IKEA and many places near urban and suburban areas. Check out your local hardware store, although many of these stores only accept used light bulbs if you are buying new ones from them too.
6. Cell Phones
Cell phones have a relatively short life until they are replaced. Help prevent the waste that occurs when this happens by recycling yours. This is important to do because there are toxic chemicals in many cell phones. You can recycle your old phone through many organizations, like the EPA: http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/partnerships/plugin/cellphone/index.htm.
5. Scrap Metal
Scrap metal can usually be transformed into something usable relatively easy. Unfortunately, an uncomfortably large amount does end up in landfills and garbage dumps. You can help solve this problem by bringing it to a scrap dealer, who will even buy the metal off of you, although it will be at a low price.
Used shoes can be turned into running tracks, padding for basketball courts, and into tennis courts. This is done through Nike Reuse-a-Shoe. You can learn more and can contribute to their program at www.nikereuseashoe.com.
Any old toys can be donated to the Salvation Army or a thrift store in order to brighten up a child's day. This cuts down on waste while making people feel happier at the same time. Besides, you can clear space up around your house or in your storage.
Used oil from your car can wear down the environment. It isn't friendly to a lot of nature because the oil molecules are not symbiotic at all to plants, insects, and animals and, in fact, damage most organic systems and organisms. To recycle your used oil, you can bring it in to special recycling facilities. Walmart, for instance, has these in most of their stores and you can find them in many other auto repair and auto parts stores around the country.
You can even recycle your car if it breaks down. Many of the pieces are still usable. You can sell it to a scrap yard, which you can usually locate using the internet or with the Yellow Pages. This will let someone else get a use from your car after you're done using it, which is essential to not wasting precious resources.
Or, you can bring your car to actually get it recycled. There are many organizations that will pick your car up for free and then recycle it in a way that doesn't harm the environment. There is a lot of oil and many toxic chemicals in your car, so this can be a really good idea.
As the impossibility of continuing our toss-and-buy-another-one culture becomes more and more obvious, people are finding creative ways to reuse and recycle in order to reduce waste and become a more sustainable society. Hopefully, these 10 recyclable things that you might not have known were recyclable will be able to help you move nearer to a sustainable way-of-life.