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How to Recycle Bras and Other Tips on Going Green

These recycling oddities might surprise you.

Go beyond cans, bottles and cardboard to get creative with recycling.

Nonprofits and some do-it-yourself hints can help keep items out of landfills while helping others. Here are five items that you may not have considered recycling and tips on how to make it happen.

Running Shoes

Runners can log a lot of miles. Shoes wear out after about 500 miles, but don't toss them in the trash when they do. Several programs recycle used running shoes.

Some ship lesser-used kicks to Third World countries, while companies including Nike will deconstruct the shoe and recycle the materials. Learn about the process at www.nikereuseashoe.com.

You can drop off your used running shoes at the following nearby locations:

Salvation Army
6059 Van Nuys Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91401
818-782-1306

National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Shop
14526 Victory Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91411
818-997-8980

Goodwill Industries of Southern California
14550 Victory Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA 91401
818-904-9130

Bras

Bras aren't exactly biodegradable, but gently used lingerie is a welcome donation for The Bra Recyclers. So long as the clasps and straps work, just wash the bra, fill out a form and send it off.

Slivers of Soap

Some hotels save partially-used bars of soap to re-purpose and donate them to the needy. You can also keep your own soap slivers and put them into the foot of an old pantyhose to create a DIY a soap-on-a-rope.

Hair

Let your hair grow out, then get chop it off and make a donation to Locks of Love. The nonprofit provides hairpieces to children younger than 21 who suffer from a long-term illness that affects their hair growth.

CDs

For those who still have CDs, re-purpose them outdoors. Their mirror-like properties are a great deterrent for birds, so hang them around a garden or fruit trees to deter pilfering. Old CDs also make great decor for trees, so save a stack for the holiday season.

Elke Heitmeyer February 27, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Great Tips! I saved my old running shoes, did not want to throw them into the landfill. Thank you! Do you have an idea for textile rags, things that really cannot be reused in their original version? Old bathrobes for example, sheets, t-shirts.
Lisa February 27, 2013 at 06:18 PM
Old bathrobes, towels, blankets, sheets and such can be donated to your favorite animal rescue, or to a veterinary office (who will then either use or donate to a shelter).
Julie Taron February 28, 2013 at 03:05 AM
Used medical equipment can be donated to Convalescent Aid Society in Pasadena. They accept unused disposable briefs, chucks, and used walkers, canes, blood glucose meters, etc. Do call them before discarding any used medical equipment or new supplies. They're like a library; they lend equipment and give supplies to needy clients in the San Gabriel Valley. You'll get a receipt for your donation as well. 626.793.1696.

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