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50 Things You Should Recycle

We are learning a lot about reducing our carbon footprint, and a lot of that is by making sure we are reducing our waste by reusing and recycling what can be recycled. As technology advances, so does our ability to recycle different materials. Not everything is recyclable, though, so we have compiled a list of 50 things that can be recycled. Note that while you can recycle all of these items, some cannot go in your curbside recycling bin. Research what can go in your local recycling bin and use the appropriate recycling facilities for the rest.


Absolutely classic. If you still get a newspaper delivered, it can be recycled! As a kid, dad would make us run to the elementary school to drop off all our newspapers to recycle; however, in most places, you can do this in your curbside container.


Like paper but a lot thicker- It also comes in many different forms. Make sure to break it down to help conserve space.

Soda Cans

Or “Pop Cans” if you’re from the Midwest.

Metal Pots

For those who are lucky and got all new kitchenware but aren’t quite sure what to do with the kitchenware you’ve had since your freshman year of college.

Paper Bags 

Plastic bags can NEVER be recycled, but paper bags, on the other hand, can! Just make sure your bags are not soiled.

Plastic Containers

 As long as you have rinsed off any food from your plastic containers, send it!

Aerosol Cans

 ONLY IF THE CAN IS EMPTY. Can’t stress that enough…

Milk Jugs 

1%, 2%, Skim, Whole, Almond, Oat, Soy, Coconut, Rice . . . you get it.


 It’s time to let go of those magazines that have been sitting in your garage since 2004. Recycle them, please.

Toilet Paper Rolls

 Unless you think you’re better than everyone else and use a bidet, we know you have used toilet paper rolls.

Beer Cans

We won’t judge you on how many  end up in your recycling bin. Just make sure they end up there.

Glass bottles

 Glass bottles can be recycled; however, they aren’t always accepted in your curbside bin, be sure to check your local recycling guidelines. (In Salt Lake County, glass is NOT accepted in your curbside bin; however, there are drop off locations you can leave them!)

Tin Cans 

Something about a heart and a brain.

Cereal Boxes 

Even if your cereal of choice is Raisin Bran, you should still recycle these.


 I don’t know if these still exist, not going to lie.

Office Paper

 That paper with everyone’s lunch orders from last month doesn’t need to keep sitting on your desk, you know. Soon someone will be getting your lunch. Don’t worry about it.


 Your local hipster is looking for a means to drink their coffee.

Wine Bottles

 Again, no judgment on how many of these you’re recycling.

Liquor Bottles

 Okay, so we might be judging how many of these you’re recycling. Especially if it’s Cinnamon Whisky. Come on. You’re not 21 anymore.

Egg Cartons

 Styrofoam can NOT be recycled, but cardboard can, so recycle your cardboard egg cartons.  

Snack Boxes

 Cheeze-its are a personal favorite, especially the white cheddar ones.

Online Shipping Boxes 

Tis’ the season.


 There comes a time where your crayon no longer has a point. Absolutely pointless. (National Crayon Recycle Program in Colorado)

Cell Phones

If you’ve ever had a Nokia phone, then it’s probably still lying around somewhere, looking just as reliable as it did in 2007. ( Cellular Recycler)

VHS Cassettes

 Unfortunately, blockbuster won’t take your VHS cassettes back, but Green Disk will. Too soon?


You’re not even supposed to throw these away in your trash anyways. (Best Buy, The Home Depot, Staples, and Lowe’s accept reusable ones)


 Deep breaths, we get excited about recycling too. It’s okay. (participating pharmacies)

Running Shoes

We know your running shoes sit in the back of the closet anyway. (Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe)


 If you’re going to be recycling your glass wine bottles, you might as well recycle the corks too! (Whole Foods)


 Check with your favorite supplier as many companies have programs to recycle!

Prescription Drugs 

There are many community programs to help recycle prescription drugs to ensure they don’t end up in the wrong hands. 


 There are a LOT of mattresses that end up at the dump; consider finding a program to recycle your old one instead.

Apple Products 

iPhone 12 just dropped, now is a great time to explore the Apple GiveBack program. We all know you were going to get the newest iPhone anyway. 


The considerate thing to do would be to wash it first, of course. (Bra Recyclers)

Holiday Lights

 Icicle Christmas lights might not be your thing anymore. We get it. (The Christmas Light Recycling Program)


 One time, I sat on my glasses so I had to go a week blind until new ones could be ordered. Don’t sit on your old glasses. Recycle them. (

Hearing Aids 

Okay, so hear us out- (Starkey Hearing Foundation)

Juice Pouches

 We all know your five-year-old SLAMS juice pouches like it’s a day job. And to be entirely fair, so do I. (TerraCycle)

Greeting Cards

 There is just no easy way to tell your grandma you don’t care about the President’s Day card she sends you every. single. year. (St. Jude’s Ranch for Children)


 Everyone is always asking what they should do after graduation, and this is a great place to start! After that, good luck! (American Birding Association)


Probably not your current house key though, you should keep that one. (The Keys for Hope Foundation)

Steel Cans

 Your mom’s food storage has been in the back of the pantry since before you were born. That can’t be good.

Shoe Boxes

 You know what’s cooler than buying the new space force 11s or whatever? Recycling.

Junk Mail

 Those postcards that your dentist keeps sending? You don’t have to keep them, you know.

Plastic Bottle Caps

 Yes, you absolutely can recycle these, no cap.

Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs 

Just another advantage of being an environmentally conscious human being.


 Just because you forgot how to read doesn’t mean everyone else did.

Ink Cartridges

 For those of you who print stuff, now you can print even more stuff. (Staples)

Old TVs

 Not that your old TV doesn’t look great in the garage, but dad wants his parking spot back.

Power Cords 

Yup, it’s time to clean out that drawer. You know exactly which one I’m referring to.  

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