5 Things You Should be Recycling But Probably Aren't

Updated July 2023

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you are familiar with the mission here at The Junkluggers: to enhance lives, our community, and the environment by donating, recycling, and supporting local charities. Odds are, you also already do your part to reduce waste on a daily basis.

Perhaps you recycle paper products, bottles, and cans, and shop with reusable bags. But there are plenty of items you are probably throwing out that could be recycled.

Father teaching his daughter how to recycle

While it may seem obvious to recycle a water bottle, there are so many recyclable items that people just throw away!

Stuff you aren’t recycling, but should be:

  1. CDs & DVDs Digitizing your CD collection is a great way to cut down on clutter, but what do you do with those CDs and cases once you’ve copied them to your hard drive? You can’t just throw away all that plastic. Did you know that you can recycle not only the packaging but also the discs themselves? Your local recycling program should be able to point you in the direction of a recycling location to drop off your old discs. Otherwise, you can contact companies like Greendisk or TerraCycle to accept your unwanted disks.
  2. Batteries Nearly all kinds of batteries are recyclable, so stop throwing them away! You can bring your rechargeable batteries and old cell phones to a drop-off location near you.
  3. Packing Peanuts Box of packing peanuts holding a light blue vase

    Did you know you can recycle packing peanuts?

    Polystyrene is widely known for being un-recyclable and less widely known for the small — but pivotal — role in the plot of the 1995 film, Jury Duty, starring Pauly Shore and Tia Carrere. Remember them? Big-screen aspirations aside, polystyrene packing peanuts are great at ensuring your delicate items arrive safely in the mail or during a move. But, they become pretty useless after that.

    Thankfully, the Plastic Loose Fill Council has a mission to collect packing peanuts for reuse. All Pak Mail locations are part of the Peanut Hotline, which is the recycling program started by the Plastic Loose Fill Council. Visit Pak Mail’s website to find a location near you!

    Some other options include:

    • Store your packing peanuts to use for later. You can use them during your next move or when shipping gifts for birthdays and holidays.
    • Contact local shipping stores to see if they accept packing peanuts to be reused.
    • Get in touch with local schools and churches to see if packing peanuts can be reused in art projects.
    • Partner with your local Junkluggers dealer to see if they can take them off your hands!
  4. Corks

    While you might recycle old wine bottles, a lot of people don’t know that you can also recycle the corks that kept your wine fresh. ReCork is a UK-based company that collects used corks from all over the world (check their map for a collection center near you) and repurposes them into new corks and other products like shoe soles. So far they have collected over 100 million corks. Not too shabby!

  5. Water Filters

    If you live in a place where you need to filter your water to make it safe to drink, or if you simply appreciate having the extra security of your water filter, you should know that Brita and other water filters are completely recyclable. And when I say completely, I mean completely — everything from the pitcher itself to the filter inside can be recycled. You can mail back the pitcher, bottles, and/or filters directly to Brita and they’ll recycle it all for you.

Father teaching his son how and what to recycle

It’s important to show your family how they can reduce waste by recycling.

Minimize the waste you produce — recycle as much as you can!

Are you wondering about items you don’t see listed here? There is so much stuff you can recycle, so don’t stop there. Real Simple offers a lengthy list of common household items you can recycle — and how to do it! From eyeglasses to iPhones, there are plenty of ways to give your unwanted items a second life.

Need help? Partner with your local Junkluggers!

When it comes to recycling and reducing environmental impact, we are the experts! We know how tricky it can be to appropriately sort recyclables, which is why we offer a wide variety of sustainable junk removal services.

If you don’t have the time to sort through items you no longer want or need, your local Junkluggers company can help!