Reuse, Reclaim, Recycle, Part 4 of our Obsessively Thorough Guide to Rcycling Almost Anything

For lots of Americans recycling has become a part of our daily, or at least weekly, lives. Hey, even NASCAR is recycling and going green now! Most of us understand that recycling helps conserve natural resources and space in our landfills. But you might not know that recycling also conserves energy and water and helps to reduce air and water pollution? Making recycled paper uses 80% less water and 65% less energy, and produces 95% less air pollution than making paper from a tree. If all of us recycled our newspapers just once a week, we would save about 36 million trees a year.

Of course, here at Cars Helping, our preferred method of recycling is donating old or unused cars to charity. When you donate a junk car to Cars Helping People, you recycle your car and you get a significant tax write-off. But you also assist Volunteers of America in funding important local programs for the homeless, veterans, children and other people struggling with our tough economy. Enough of that, let’s get on to Part 4 of guide to recycling nearly everything from A to Z:

Hearing Aids:

No matter what kind of old hearing aid you have, the Starkey Hearing Foundation ( will recycle it, even if its ancient! You can also check out your local Lions Club. They take used hearing aids (along with eyeglasses) for reuse. Go to to locate the collection center in your community.

Holiday Cards:

Don’t throw those old Christmas, Hanukkah or other holiday cards away. St. Jude’s Ranch for children (a home for abused youth) has an unusual way to reuse old holiday cards. The kids at the ranch cut off the cover, glue it to a new card and sell the recycled cards to raise money for the ranch.


Do you have an old iPod? Would you like a new one? Take your old iPod to any Apple store. Apple will break it down and recycle its components, but that’s not all. They’ll also give you a 10% discount off of a new iPod. But you have to buy it your new iPod right away, so bring your checkbook!

Jam Jars:

Most municipalities offer recycling for container-glass (translation: glass jars and bottles). If they do, that’s where to take your jam jars. How clean do they need to be? Not squeaky clean, but its nice to try and clean the old jam out. Don’t forget to put the metal lids in the metal recycling bin.

Juice Bags:

Ordinary juice bags are a combination of aluminum and plastic polymer which can’t be recycled. But don’t toss them in the trash – gather them up and send them to your favorite charity. Here’s the deal with that: TerraCycle will donate 2 cents for every Honest Kids, Capri Sun and Kool-Aid drink bag – and and they’ll donate a penny for every other brand. Plus they provide free shipping. TerraCycle turns old juice bags and pouches into colorful purses, totes and pencil cases. See them yourself at Walgreens, Target or

Keys and Nail Clippers:

Like most metal objects that aren’t cans, nail clippers and house/car keys fall into the category of scrap metal and can be recycled as such.

Leather Goods:

If you have old jackets, purses or other leather goods, have them repaired if possible. If you can’t fix them you have no choice but to throw them in the garbage. At this time there really isn’t a viable recycling option for leather goods. If you have gently used shoes you can donate them to, a charity that collects used shoes and gives them to people in need.

Keep your eye out for Part 5 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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