handing a small package to postal worker

Many items, such as cell phone batteries and printer cartridges are recyclable yet not accepted in most curbside recycling programs. Unfortunately, these items commonly end up cluttering attics, basements, and closets — or they end up in landfills. Thankfully, various mail-in recycling programs accept some of these less common items.

Editor’s note: Originally published on March 13, 2013, this article was updated by Earth911 writer Sarah Lozanova in August 2018.

How Mail-In Recycling Programs Work

Mail-in recycling programs collect and recycle products received by mail. Many such programs charge a fee, but some do not and even pay shipping costs. These programs may have special packaging requirements or instructions to follow. Many recycling programs accept several different items so review all that they accept before shipping things off to combine shipments and maximize your impact.

Click in the list below for information about recycling items in any of these 10 categories by mail, or click Continue Reading below the list to proceed to the next section.

  1. Batteries
  2. Cell Phones & Small Electronics
  3. Electronic Media
  4. Household Miscellaneous Items
  5. Inkjet & Toner Cartridges
  6. Large Electronics
  7. Light Bulbs
  8. Medical Supplies
  9. Paper
  10. Plastic

Continue Reading: Batteries