It is obvious you can recycle cans and bottles, but did you know you can recycle athletic shoes, carpeting, crayons, and packing peanuts? These four things are a few common items that people do not think about recycling when they get used, but this article will explain not only that you can recycle them, but also how to do it. Let the recycling begin!

4 Things You Could Recycle But Probably Don't

Athletic Shoes

After the shoes are all worn out, they are usually thrown out with the trash. Millions of pairs of shoes in landfills could have been recycled if they had been sent to Nike. Thus far, the Nike Grind program has recycled 28 million pairs of shoes, recreating them into surfaces for track, playgrounds, basketball and tennis courts, and equestrian areas. Find a drop-off location near you to help build more surfaces to wear out your athletic shoes on.


Now that you have removed the carpet to discover the beautiful hardwood floors beneath, recycle that old carpeting. Earth911 has a search engine that will find a recycling location for your used carpet. Just type in your zip code and it will tell you where to bring the old shag. Carpeting is often reduced back to plastic fiber to be made into new carpeting and other things. Companies like Ware Disposal can give more details on other household items you may be overlooking in your recycling process.


While crayons are not the biggest problem in landfills, Crayola alone produces nearly three billion crayons each year. If all those crayons end up in landfills, it would certainly make the landfills more colorful, but it would not help the situation.

The National Crayon Recycling Program, in partnership with Crazy Crayons LLC, works to recycle old and broken crayons into something unique and wonderful. With the help of schools, organizations, and children across the United States, they sort, reshape, and re-box crayons to be re-purchasable, with all proceeds going toward recycling and recycling education.

Packing Peanuts

While packing peanuts are made of plastic #6 and thus can be recycled, this is one product that is often better reused. You can donate them to a local UPS or FedEx store, who will gladly take them off your hands. Another way to reuse packing peanuts is to put them in packages you are sending off yourself.

Before you throw out that chip bag or ripped pair of pantyhose, search for information about recycling. Now that you know you can recycle athletic shoes, carpeting, crayons, and packing peanuts, you may be surprised by the number of things that can be recycled. Before you throw away your next pair of ripped pantyhose or empty chip bag, do a little research on how to recycle them. You will find a treasure trove of information and be able to recycle almost anything other than food. Get out there and enjoy the world of recycling!