Recycling waste from our homes is not a new concept anymore. Generally speaking most people are aware of the main things that are recyclable through the local recycling doorstep collections. Papers and magazines, glass jars and bottles, plastic containers the list goes on and is ever growing as more and more companies come up with ways to recycle waste.
In theory you can divide home recycling into two simple categories. The first category is recycling by item destruction, which is when waste items are melted or shredded into re-usable pellets or broken into tiny reusable materials. These pellets are then often mixed with new raw materials to make into entirely new items, for instance old plastic bottles are made into new bottles or even a watering can.
The second category would be recycling by reusing or up-cycling. This type of recycling would be to reuse an item in its current form or to modify it into a similar item that has another use or has more appealing aesthetics.
The simplest way to do this is to just pass it on to someone who could use it as it is. Charities and recycling companies collect a whole range of items to be recycled, some of them you might not think are recyclable, but they are.
Bra and lingerie recycling
For millions of women around the world a bra is part of the everyday outfit which many women just can’t live comfortably without it. Millions of bra’s end up in landfill sites each year as people just don’t realise they have a recyclable use.
Luckily a company has come up with an answer to this problem. The Bra Recyclers is a clothing recycling company that collect Bras and underwear and then ship them to poorer countries. The company provide cleaned bras and underwear to women around the world in crisis. You can check them out at brarecycling.com.
Yes that tiny little lens that replaces spectacles can actually be recycled so can the foil lid, and the container that keeps them moist. Contact lenses are so small that many people just throw them in the bin without so much as a second thought. Unlike spectacles contact lenses can’t be reused or recycled as a contact lens but they can be recycled as plastic. Your optician should be able to advise you on where to recycle your lens and packaging, if not search the web for a recycling company, don’t bin them, your old lens could end up in a new life as recycled plastic items.
Many people would not think that spectacles or glasses could be recycled by reusing them as they are. The Lions Club UK collect thousands of pairs of spectacles each year and process them using an army of Lions volunteers. The glasses are inspected, graded and cleaned then shipped out to various vison charities based around the world bringing the gift of sight and visual health to many needy people in poorer countries. Next time you replace your specs ask your optician about Spectacle Recycling and make a difference to someone else instead of leaving them languishing at the back of your drawer.
Literally tonnes of door keys are lost or broken each year, usually if a key is found and the owner can’t be traced it would likely find its way into the bin as trash never to be seen again. Your door key is made of metal, which as small as it is has scrap metal value.
Key For Hope is a small charity collecting old unused and broken keys for their scrap value, the money raised is then used through their charity to feed hungry people, if you have any old keys hanging around be sure to get in touch through their .org website.
Wedding Gowns / Wedding Dresses
Some people save their wedding dress to hand down through generations of future brides but some people don’t want to hold on to them and don’t really know what to do with them, A wedding dress is a very unique item of clothing often tailor made to fit the bride of the day.
Mary Madeline Project accepts donations of wedding dresses and gowns and has a very special way of recycling them. With their army of volunteers they repurpose the gowns and dresses into beautiful burial outfits for babies that have sadly passed away.
Their website states “When a baby dies it is the most heart breaking experience a parent could endure. The Mary Madeline Project attempts to ease some of the tremendous grief by providing beautiful burial clothing. It is a very difficult process to have to go shopping for something for your precious baby to be buried in. If the baby was premature it can be near impossible to find something that will fit.”
It’s a very sad reason to have to recycle but it’s reassuring for them to know they are bringing comfort to families at a very difficult time.
So here are the 5 things we thought are unusual and not often thought to be recyclable. Your local recycling centre near you will offer a solution for some of these items or you could search out the organisations and contact them direct.