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5 Materials You May Not Realize Are Recyclable

Recycling is an important part of our society. It not only helps to reduce the amount of material that goes into landfills, but it also saves energy and natural resources. Did you know that many people don't realize their recycling bin can hold more than just paper products? Here are 5 materials you may not have known could be recycled.

Motor Oil

Annually, Americans use an estimated 270 million gallons of motor oil. Many people don't realize that used oil can be turned into other products such as machine lubricants and asphalt pavement. When your oil is about to be changed, don't throw it away. Many service stations and repair shops will recycle motor oil for you.

Construction Wood

Another material that can be recycled is construction wood. Wood that has been used to build homes and other structures could end up in a landfill if not reused or repurposed. Instead of throwing away old planks, beams, posts, and boards consider donating them for reuse by another company or individual who may have the need for it elsewhere on their job site.

Construction wood is also recycled to make new wood products by using the wood fibers to make various products such as new lumber, particleboard, and even toothpicks.


Copper recycling is a great way to reuse and keep it out of landfills. According to the EPA, recycling just one ton of copper can conserve 37,000 gallons of water and more than three cubic yards of landfill spaceā€”a reduction equivalent to two midsize sedans!

Copper has many uses such as wiring for homes and buildings which is why it is important to recycle rather than throw it away. When copper recycling, make sure you are only donating the bare metal since other items like paint will contaminate the process and reduce its efficiency.

Fluorescent Light Bulbs

Fluorescent light bulbs have a small amount of mercury inside the tube which is why it is important to dispose of them properly. You can dispose of these types of bulbs at your local recycling center.

Fluorescent light bulbs are recycled by breaking them down into other products such as new fluorescent light bulbs and glass tile. It is important to not break the bulb while attempting to recycle it since this will release mercury, a toxic metal that should be handled by professionals only.

Wine Corks

Wine corks can be recycled and turned into many different items such as pencil erasers, garden supplies, and even fishing lures. Wine corks are made out of compressed cork wood which makes them durable, long-lasting, and able to withstand the weight of an open bottle.

Businesses are beginning to see how useful wine corks actually are which is why many wineries and restaurants have begun donating, selling or even giving away their leftover wine corks. This has resulted in a large collection of recycled materials that may otherwise end up in landfills.

If you have a large number of wine corks at home, don't throw them away. Instead, donate them to your local recycling center so they can be reused in another way.


In conclusion, there are many materials that can be recycled such as motor oil, construction wood, copper wiring, and even fluorescent light bulbs. If you're unsure of whether or not something is recyclable, all you have to do is ask around to see where it should go.


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