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How to Recycle Bras and Other Tips on Going Green

These recycling oddities might surprise you.

Go beyond cans, bottles and cardboard to get creative with recycling.

Nonprofits and some do-it-yourself hints can help keep items out of landfills while helping others. Here are six items that you may not have considered recycling, and tips on how to make it happen in Half Moon Bay.

Bras

Bras aren't exactly biodegradable, but gently used lingerie is a welcome donation for The Bra Recyclers. So long as the clasps and straps work, just wash the bra, fill out a form and send it off.

Slivers of Soap

Some hotels save partially-used bars of soap to re-purpose it and donate it to the needy. Or keep your own soap slivers and put them into the foot of an old pantyhose to create a DIY a soap-on-a-rope.

Running Shoes

Runners can log a lot of miles enjoying the trails surrounding Half Moon Bay. Shoes wear out after about 500 miles, but don't toss them in the trash. Several programs recycle used running shoes.

Some ship lesser-used kicks to Third World countries, while companies including Nike will deconstruct the shoe and recycle the materials.

Drop off used running shoes at the Little Gym, or bring your old running shoes to the Nike Store at the Stanford Shopping Center to recycle them. Learn about the process at www.nikereuseashoe.com. Check with Sports Authority. In the past the company has run their Pass the Good campaign, accepting used cleats and running shoes for donations in exchange for a gift card to the store.

Hair

Let your hair grow out, then get chop it off and make a donation to Locks of Love. The nonprofit provides hairpieces to children younger than 21 who suffer from a long-term illness that affects their hair growth.

CDs

For those who still have CDs, re-purpose them outdoors. Their mirror-like properties are a great deterrent for birds, so hang them around a garden or fruit trees to deter pilfering. Old CDs also make great decor for trees, so save a stack for the holiday season.

Mattresses

An old mattress will sleep in a landfill for about 50 years. Luckily, San Leandro-based DR3 Recycling parts out old mattresses and recycles the cotton, wood, steel and foam. DR3's yard is in Oakland, but there are other spots in the Bay Area where mattresses left behind will be recycled.

On the Coast, Recology of the Coast accepts appliances, furniture and mattresses, books, clothing, carpets, toilets, and almost any other "bulky" item in the free Bulky Item Pick-up Program.

Here are more recycling tips from the Recology of the Coast.

 

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