Zero-Waste Recyclers Guide

When the average American throws out 4.4 pounds of trash a DAY, we have to wonder how much of that could have been diverted from the trash. Although we encourage people to aim for waste reduction and reuse first, there are circumstances in which you still end up with items that need to be disposed of. For that, we've compiled a list of ways to get rid of items that can be recycled but cannot be put in your recycling cart.

  • Plastic bags, plastic wrap, produce bags, bubble wrap, ziploc bags, air pillows in packages, and all flexible plastic packaging
  • Shredded paper
  • Pill bottles: drop it off at your nearest Whole Foods or other retail store participating in the Gimme 5 program. You can also mail in your empty pill bottles to Matthew 25 Ministries, an organization that uses empty pill bottles to send medicine to developing countries. 
  • Candy/snack wrappers, k-cups, straws, etc.: Terracycle-Subaru Partnership - see details here
  • All metal items (excluding metal cans and lids): poles, helium tanks, wire racks, etc. can typically be brought to a scrap metal collector such as Max Levine and Co.
  • Household goods, furniture, books, toys and clothes that are in good condition but no longer usable can typically be donated (see our donations page for more information)
  • Electronics that are no longer usable
    • Apple products can almost always be returned to retail to be recycled (computers, ipads, iphones, and other devices)
    • Dell also has a take back program, and will recycle your old computer for free when you buy a new one 
    • Best Buy accepts a large variety of items, such as TV's, cell phones, vacuums, fans, chargers, alarm clocks, hair dryers, and much more
    • Staples accepts a large variety as well, such as coffee brewers, scanners, modems, CD/Blue Ray players, calculators and hard drives
  • Have an item not on the list that someone might still want? Use freecycle! This website allows you to offer up goods that you may no longer want, but somebody else might.