20 Weird and Wonderful Things You Would Never Think of Recycling But Can

February 24, 2016

1.    VHS Cassettes

Let’s face it, most of us will have a stack of old videos up the attic or in the garage, but don’t have anything to play them on. Well, it may be time to dispose of that Disney back-catalogue, but not in the bin, by recycling of course.

When stripped-down and dismantled your old VHS tapes can be made into all manners of packaging.



2.    Batteries

You may not be able to pop these out for your weekly recycling collection service, but that doesn’t mean you should send them to landfill. Instead take your unwanted batteries to one of the many recycling drop-off points around the country. You may even have one in your local supermarket!

3.    Trainers

Yep, thanks to Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program your old trainers no longer need to go in the bin when they gain a hole or tear. Donate your old Nike trainers to this cause and your shoes could be recycled and made into playing courts or children’s play areas.


4.    Asthma Inhalers

If you suffer from asthma, don’t throw your inhaler in the bin when it’s empty. Instead take it back to your local chemist where the pharmacy can have it recycled.



5.    Corks

If you enjoy a glass or two of vino, you may be surprised to know you can recycle the cork, as well as the bottle. Recycled cork is used in everything from wall insulation to sporting equipment.

6.    Tights, Pop Socks and Stockings

A dreaded ladder is far too common for many tight wearers, but you won’t feel as bad throwing them away knowing they can be recycled and made into a myriad of items, including toys for children.


7.    Bicycles

Bikes, tools and gear may have traditionally be sent to the scrappies, but these days there are plenty of bike recycling companies that will collect and recycle your old push bike. Some even send them to developing countries to help people in poverty.


8.    Brita Water Filters

Enjoy your water filtered? Well, don’t forget to drop your used cartridges to a local collection point.


9.    Carpets

Did you know 400,000 tonnes of carpet are buried in UK landfill each year? Well, you can do your bit to prevent this by recycling your carpets. Carpet’s synthetic fibres can be recycled and reused in a number of ways, including home insulation.


Light Bulbs

10.    Compact fluorescent Light Bulbs

Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs (CFLs), also known as ‘eco light bulbs’, are harder to dispose of than traditional lamps. But as many stores now only sell this kind of fitting, they also offer a collection and recycling program. Like IKEA for example.


11.    Ink Cartridges

Dell, HP and Canon all recycle and reuse their ink cartridges, so you know what to do the next time your printer light flashes.


12.    Computers and Laptops

Most local council waste centres will accept your old computers as long as your personal data has been wiped off, plus many tech manufacturers will happily take and recycle your PC when you purchase a new one.


13.    Apple Products

Here’s a top tip for you: Exchange your old device at any Apple store and you can get 10% off of a new one!



14.    Mobile Phones

And it’s not just iPhones that can be recycled. All mobiles can be recycled – many for money, if they’re new enough.


15.    Old Currencies

Still have some Drachma in the back of a kitchen drawer from Halkidiki 1998? Don’t let it jangle around anymore. Parkinson’s UK have a charity recycle program that will take all of your old currency, as well as old stamps, broken jewellery and gadgets.



16.    Jewellery

You’ve probably seen the television adverts about selling gold for cash, but you can in fact sell all types of jewellery. Gold, silver, platinum and many precious stones can be recycled and formed into beautiful new pieces of bling.


17.    Aerosol Cans

Whether polish, deodorant or air-freshener, more than ¾ of UK local authorities will accept empty aerosol cans in their weekly kerbside recycling services.


18.    Motor Oil

Yes, this hazardous and sticky substance can be put to good use. Avoid getting fined for disposing of this incorrectly and have your spare motor oil recycled at a local oil bank.



19.    CDs and DVDs

As with your old VHS cassettes, DVDs and CDs can easily be recycled. Some companies will even pay you for your unwanted films and albums. 


20.    Pet Fur

Yep, that’s right, the next time you brush your cat or bathe your dog, don’t put the mounds of hair in the bin, but in your food waste bin. Or even better on your home compost heap!

Here at GD Environmental, we recycle 95% of all waste we collect and we specialise in recyclable commodities such as cardboard, plastic, wood and aggregates. You can learn more about our recycling services here or why not come for a tour around one of our facilities to see the recycling in action?!