10 Things You Never Knew Were Recyclable

#1: Hair

Human hair is compostable and recyclable. Hair from your hairbrush or fur from your pet are full of useful nitrogen that can be thrown in the compost pile. Donating your hair could help clean up future oil spills. San Francisco nonprofit Matter of Trust collects human and pet hair to create booms that soak up oil. Currently, warehouses are full, but you can be placed on the email alert list when the need arrives again.

#2: Blue Jeans

Donating jeans to Goodwill is always a great option. But if they’re too raggedy, they can be recycled into cool products. Companies like Green Jeans Insulation and Bonded Logic manufacture insulation products from recycled denim and cotton fibers. Green Jeans Insulation recycles jeans into natural fiber insulation used for interior and exterior walls and ceiling applications.

#3: Wine

Wine really is a zero-waste beverage. Its bottle can by recycled in a glass program, and ReCORK America has drop-off locations for corks at local Whole Foods stores. The best part is that wine itself can encourage the composting process. So, if you have any left over, toss it in the bin.

#4: Cotton Swabs

Cotton is also fodder for the compost bin. Cotton balls, cotton swabs (as long as the handle is made of cardboard), lint from the dryer and even old shredded cotton and wool clothing can all go in your compost bin.

#5: Crayons

National Crayon Recycle Program has diverted more than 47,000 pounds of crayons from landfills. The company has drop-off bins nationwide and a mail-back option. The program accepts unwanted and broken crayons for recycling into new crayons.

#6: Surfboards

ReSurf Recycling recycles all surfboards and surfboard manufacturing waste materials into numerous products including asphalt and concrete for paving city roads. Additionally, the company developed a method to produce 100 percent recycled yoga mats using neoprene scraps from wetsuit production.

#7: Keys

We all have a drawer full of miscellaneous keys, but you don’t have to toss them in the trash. They’re made of valuable metal, after all. Keys For Kindness is a small, family-run program designed to raise money through metal key recycling for the Multiple Sclerosis society. The donor pays for shipping, but we’re sure karma points are said donor’s future.

#8: Rechargeable Batteries

While nine states have passed laws banning rechargeable batteries from landfills, New York City and the state of California have passed the only laws requiring manufacturer take-back programs. This includes batteries for cell phones, laptops and other electronic devices. But if you live in an area that’s not covered by this mandate, Call2Recycle is a great place to start finding a recycling location.

#9: Golf Balls

Most golf balls are made in two or three parts. A two-piece ball is made of rubber and plastic, and is mostly used by the casual golfer. You can bring in golf balls to a Dixon Golf retail location or mail them in for recycling. will buy old golf balls in bulk. Also, check out to purchase recycled and used golf balls.

#10: Trophies

Total Awards & Promotions, Inc. has a trophy recycling program to benefit charities. Through a mail-in program, the company recycles your defunct awards or re-engraves and donates them to nonprofit organizations. One of many trophy recycling programs offered nationwide, the company also manufacturers its own awards made of recycled glass and newsprint.