Ever looked at an old pair of eyeglasses and wondered if it could be recycled or have a collection of old wine corks and didn’t know what to do with them? We have compiled a list of some surprising things that can be recycled.


When your prescription changes or you decide you want new frames, don’t just throw away your unwanted glasses! New Eyes for the Needy is committed to providing corrective eyewear to people who need them in the United States, or elsewhere on the planet or in developing countries.

Foam Peanuts

Even though they protect your fragile package from breaking, foam peanuts have to be one of the most annoying things ever when they escape from their box. Since they have been such a nuisance filling up our landfills some companies are making the “foam” peanuts from vegetable starch. The peanuts made from vegetable starch are non-toxic and biodegradable (if you put one in water and it disintegrates you have the earth-friendly ones)!  If you have the other kind of foam peanut you can call The Peanut Hotline (not a joke!) at (800)828-2214 for a list of places that will take them off your hands.

Holiday Lights

Got burnt out holiday lights? The folks at HolidayLEDs will gladly take your old lights, shred them, and sort the remaining PVC, glass, and copper. Those raw materials are taken to another recycling center and resurrected as something new. They start collecting lights at the end of October and it accepts lights until the end of February.


Don’t toss those broken and stubby Crayolas! Instead, mail them to the National Crayon Recycle Program, which takes unusable, broken crayons to a better place. They’re melted in a vat of wax, remade, and resold. The program has saved over 47,000 pounds of crayons.

Fishing Line

Fishing line is made from monofilament, a non-biodegradable plastic that you can’t put in your everyday recycling bin. At Berkley Fishing, old fishing line is mixed with other recyclables (like milk cartons and plastic bottles) and transformed into fish-friendly habitats. So far, Berkley has saved and recycled more than 9 million miles of fishing line.

Wine Corks

Your recycling center probably doesn’t accept wine corks, but companies like Terracycle and Yemm and Hart will. They turn cork into flat sheets of tile, which you can use for flooring, walls, and veneer.