4 ways to recycle items that don’t go in the blue box

Most of us know that we should be recycling. It’s not a new concept. In fact, the curbside blue box program used for recycling in places around the world was first used in Kitchener, Ontario in the 1980s.

However, some items always make the cut for curbside collection – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t recyclable. Here are a few handy examples:

  1. Carpet: Get it picked up
    Old carpeting is not typically accepted in regional blue box programs, but if you call the manufacturer or a local recycling company, they can often bring it to a depot. There it’s recycled into a new carpet or other items like plastic auto parts. Carpets are often made from synthetics or fossil fuel-based materials, so keeping them out of landfill is worthwhile.
  2. Old pens: Drop off at a local store
    Although much of the world has gone digital, there are still many of us who keep a trusty pen and paper on hand. Some local and national retailers collect pens and stationery items that would otherwise need to be thrown out. Check out your office supplies store to see if they take broken or dried up writing utensils, from pens to mechanical pencils and felt tip markers.
  3. Re-sell or donate: Bicycles
    Even if that old bicycle seems un-ridable, there are still plenty of ways to put it to use. There are many groups across the country that will take an old bike – either as a fixer upper or as a source for stripped parts that will create or repair another bicycle. Look locally for organizations or shops that sell or repair used bikes.
  4. Mail in programs: Smoke-free products
    Recycling is a great way for all of us to be stewards of the planet and, in some cases, can be done from your home or office. Nicotine-containing products like vaping devices, pods and certain heated tobacco devices can be safely recycled or disposed of for free with the national Smoke-Free Recycling program. Collect your items in any old box, print a free shipping label and send them off in the mail. There is also the option to recycle cigarette butts through the program.

Find more information on the program at terracycle.com/en-ca/brigades/smoke-free-en.ca

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