6 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

From flip flops to shingles, check out some of these recycle-friendly products
Jan 30, 2010 10:00 AM ET

6 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle

From flip flops to shingles, check out some of these recycle-friendly products

When most of us think about recycling, we usually think about the standard recycled items like plastic bottles, soda cans and paper. But there are actually hundreds of other materials out there that can be recycled into new and interesting items.

Here are six of the most surprising things that I found out could be recycled:

1. Wine Corks

I’m an avid wine drinker, but I had no idea that the corks for wine bottles could be reused! Apparently the company Yemm & Hart located in Fredericktown, Missouri knew this because they recycle old wine corks sent in by consumers into wall and floor tiles.

2. Potato Chip Bags

Terracycle is an eco-friendly organization that makes awesome products from non-recycled items. One of the coolest items is the Frito Lay Messenger Bag.

3. Flip Flops

The UniqueEco brand created the Recycled Flip Flop Maridadi Bracelet from the thousands of flip flops that wash up on the shores of Kenya's Kiunga Marine National Reserve. The bracelets and other items are made by local men and women who collect them for fair trade wages.

4. Paper Towels

Most of us know that used paper towels can’t be recycled because they get wet and are exposed to bacteria.  But there’s a group called Partners for a Green Hill that has come up with a great idea to reduce the amount of paper waste in Canada. Special bins for paper towels have been placed in all government building bathrooms around parliament. The paper is then collected, composted and spread over landfills to enrich the soil.

5. Styrofoam

Styrofoam that is used in egg cartons and many fast food restaurants never used to be recyclable…until now!  Check out how Recycle Tech Corp. recycles Styrofoam into useful stuff like house insulation.

6. Roof Shingles

If you ever have to redo your roof and don’t want to throw the old shingles away, then think about recycling them into a new road. Yes, I did say road! Roofs to Roads takes old shingles, grinds them up and then mixes them with hot asphalt to pave roads.

Pretty cool stuff, isn’t it? I certainly think so, and it’s stuff like this that gives me more hope for the future of recycling!

Greenopolis.com is dedicated to our users. We focus our attention on changing the world through recycling, waste-to-energy and conservation. We reward our users for their sustainable behaviors on our website, through our Greenopolis Tracking Stations and with curbside recycling programs.


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