10 Things in Your Closet You Can Reuse or Recycle

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Many of us put off cleaning out our homes, which means by the time we get around doing so, we want the old stuff out as quickly as possible. Closets especially tend to accumulate extra stuff, but the landfill doesn’t have to be the end destination for all your closet discards. Believe it or not, your unwanted jewelry, hangers and other items can actually be recycled or reused in some way. To learn more, take a look at our list of 10 things that could serve a purpose outside of your closet.

1. Hangers

metal, clothes, closet
Photo: Earth911
metal, clothes, closet
glass, broken, closet
eye, donate, closet
ring, Green Karat, recycle
Nike, pile, recycle
t-shirts, recycle, closet
empty closet
rug, recycle
luggage, closet
boxes, organize, closet

Have more hangers stuffed into your closet than clothes? If you take a lot of your clothes to the dry cleaners, you’ve probably accumulated your fair share of metal hangers over the years. 3.5 billion wire hangers from dry cleaners are used each year, which amounts to the same amount of steel as 60,000 cars, according to Recyclebank.

Metal hangers, while made of steel, can be difficult to recycle because their hooks can damage recycling equipment and some have a petroleum coating. Some curbside recycling programs do accept them, so be sure to check with your local recycler. Many dry cleaners take back hangers, too, so look for a recycling bin next time you pick up your clean clothes.

Plastic and wood hangers are also common, but usually can’t be thrown directly into your recycling bin. Many second-hand stores will accept these durable types of hangers, though.

Tip: If you’re looking to purchase new hangers in the future, opt for recycled alternatives, such as Terracycle’s 100% recycled plastic hangers or Wheatware’s compostable hangers.

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