Reuse, Reclaim, Recycle, Part 3 of our Obsessively Thorough Guide to Rcycling Almost Anything

Recycling – it saves energy, money and the planet. Nearly everything is recyclable, if you just know how. That’s where this ongoing guide to recycling comes in. Of course our favorite form of recycling is donating a car to charity (especially Volunteers of America). When you donate a car at you save energy, money and the planet – plus you save big with a significant charity tax deduction and help provide programs in your area that help the homeless, veterans, children and seniors. Click on the links  to find out how Volunteers of America is helping people in your community. But on to part 3 of our ongoing alphabetical series on recycling nearly everything:


You can’t recycle plastic frames. But metal eyeglass frames? Those can be recycled. We’re not talking about melting them down and using them for scrap, we’re talking about donating them, lenses and all to the millions of people worldwide who have bad eyes but can’t afford glasses. Donate your old glasses at Or drop them off at LensCrafters, Target or other stores and optical departments.

Film Canisters:

Hey, if you’ve got any of these relics from before the digital age lying around your house, you can try recycling them at your local recycling center, or see if the drugstore photo lab will help you recycle them.

Fire Extinguishers:

After you put out the fire, don’t put them in the trash. If you have a dry-chemical extinguisher, just relieve the pressure by squeezing the valve or handle, remove the head and place it with other large items for metal recycling. Sometimes companies that sell fire equipment will take your old extinguisher off your hands. And if you have a carbon dioxide extinguisherjust refill it and use it again!

Food Processors:

The city or county where you live might offer small appliance pick-up for recycling – many do. Some communities even pick small appliances up curbside. But they have to be at least 50% metal (most appliances weigh in at around 75% metal, so chances are you’re safe).

Formal Gowns:

Got a purple frilly prom dress or a bridesmaid dress with puffy sleeves taking up space in your closet? Recycle them by donating them to a girl who can’t afford a new one at and


The ‘gotta have them’ gadgets of the past like PDAs, MP3 players and other electronic gizmos are outdated abefore you take them out of the box. Recycle them and help fund breast cancer research at They’ll even send you prepaid mailing labels for your gadgets.


Does old-fashioned white glue every get too old? It must, because there is a recycling program for this grade school staple. Rinse out old bottles of Elmer’s Glue, you can even rinse out old Elmer’s Glue Stick. Then send them to Wal-Mart for recycling. See how at

Hangers (plastic):

You might want to think about donating all those plastic hangers to a thrift store, because not many places will recycle plastic hangers. Probably because there is such a low volume brought in for recycling. Good news, Angelinos – LA is one of the rare cities that accepts plastic hangers for recycling.

Hangers (wire): Most dry cleaners are happy to take back your old wire hangers and reuse them. Sometimes you can put them in with your household metals recycling – check with your recycling service to see if you can. But make sure you take those cardboard tubes off. The best way to recycle an old wire hanger? Use it to roast marshmallows over a camp fire.

Keep your eye out for the continuation of this exhaustive How To Recycle list, and in the meantime, if you have an old car, recycle it by donating to Volunteers of America.  Whether you’re looking to donate a car in Washington DC, are thinking I want to donate a car in Michigan, want to donate a car in New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware, or are looking to donate a car in Virginia, Maryland or Nevada, just click here to donate a car, or call us toll free at 877-721-4862. You’ll give new life to the car, and to all the people you’re helping!

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