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From Mainstream to Macabre: 5 things you never knew you could recycle

Posted on January 28, 2013

1. Crayons
Though it might have been a while since the Crayon was your preferred writing instrument it is still big business in the United States.  In fact, 60 tons of petrol-based wax is generated daily in crayon construction! CRAZY CRAYONS was founded by LuAnne Foty and started as a deposit box in the entryway of a supermarket nearly two decades ago.  It is now a nationwide service that has collected over 88,000 pounds of unwanted crayons.  These crayons are melted down, sterilized and hand poured into non-toxic CRAZY CRAYONS.

unwanted crayons

Crazy crayons

If you’d like to recycle unloved or broken crayons and send them here.  If you’d like to order some 100% recycled, non-toxic you can do that here. The clam shell box they are packaged in are a super green bonus, made using 100% renewable agricultural resources.  They also have a signature swirl crayon guaranteed inspire the little artists in your life.

2. Credit Cards
Finally, that gift card with a balance of $3.50 you got from aunt Janice has a place to live other than your wallet.  Much like prescription drugs, even when credit cards or gift cards are expired we hesitate to dispose of them perhaps because we don’t know exactly how to go about it.  The good news is that plastic cards are recyclable and can be sent to processing services like EarthWorks! Earthworks has developed a system in which scrap polymeric plastics are recovered, reground and recycled into plastic sheet material which is used for manufacturing new plastic cards.

EarthWorks! credit card recycling

If you are feeling crafty, there are also several DIY projects in which you can put old cards to new use.  We love the idea of rocking out with reused guitar picks!

3. Coffin Couch
A little more esoteric than the previous items, coffins are nonetheless posing a waste problem.  This is because (and caution this is not for the faint of heart), funeral parlors must, from time to time, move bodies from one coffin to another.  The original coffin then becomes a bio hazard, both unusable and unsellable, and finds a final resting place in a landfill.  That is, unless, the funeral directors donate the coffin to California’s own Coffin Couches. They take the caskets, clean, remove and replace the interior and then add legs. A macabre man’s perfect sofa.

Recycled coffin couch

4. Trophies
Everyone knows that it isn’t wise to rest on one’s laurels and what better way to do this than clearing out some of our childhood trophies.  After all, parting with your MVP second grade tether ball medal won’t make you any less of a champion.  The Maryland-based LAMB Awards and Engraving company has recently spearheaded a trophy recycling program and are now accepting old and dusty metallic accolades.  They pair any matching trophies that are donated to charities and those remaining are broken down and their parts are reused. What a great way to keep on winning!

trophy recycling program

5. Dentures
There’s those dumpster diving to uncover treasure in the trash and then there’s the Tokyo trailblazers who go denture diving, finding wealth where others only can’t imagine.  The Japan Denture Recycle Association was founded in 2006 and has recycled 30,000 dentures.  Half the profits go to UNICEF and the organization has already benefited hugely thanks to denture recycling, to the tune of $176,500!

We have a feeling the Tooth Fairy might be the angel investor behind this project!

Japan Denture Recycle Association

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