This guide contains options for recycling beyond the usual paper and plastic.
If you're unsure about an item's recyclability, don't toss it in and hope for the best. "When in doubt, throw it out" is a good rule of thumb. Incorrectly placed items can cause problems with equipment at recycling facilities, possibly endangering workers and/or contaminating other materials.
Beyond the Bin Guide
Appliances - Large & Small
Donate (working appliances only):
Salvation Army thrift stores
*Goodwill does not typically accept appliance donations in the Chicagoland area although they do in some other regions.
will pick up your refrigerator or freezer for free, recycle it and pay you
accepts many large and small appliances.
Remember, you can recycle all batteries at DePaul!
The EPA has deemed alkaline batteries suitable for landfill disposal.
has rechargeable battery recycling kiosks within the doors of most locations.
Clothes & Other Textiles
Can be donated to Demon Surplus With A Purpose (SWAP)
held at the end of each academic year.
Many thrift stores accept clothing and textiles EVEN IF they're unwearable (call and ask your location to be sure). These items are sold to textile recyclers to be made into industrial rags, carpet fibers, insulation and more. Check out Nearly New Thrift Store
now offers clothing and shoe recycling at all of its mainline and outlet locations in the US. Items must be clean and dry.
The North Face
offers recycling for all clothing regardless of brand or condition.
Reusable bags often get thrown out when they become tattered and worn. Send your bags to Chicobag
instead (click on Zero Waste Program)! They'll be given to low income families or recycled through partnerships with artists, crafters, and nonprofits.
EHS collects electronics once a year during our Spring Cleaning event, which takes place during Earth Week.
Municipal programs are usually for residents only, whereas private recycling options (Best Buy, Staples) are open to all.
Mixed Materials Packaging
Most wrappers/bags/etc. that snacks like candy and chips come in are made of mixed materials and cannot be recycled in household bins. TerraCycle
offers mail in recycling options for several types of traditionally unrecyclable packaging.
Personal Care Items
Cosmetics: Origins accepts empty containers of any brand/type for recycling in their stores. MAC, Lush, Kiehl's and Aveda take back their own empty containers. Bare Minerals, Stila and Jane Iredale offer refillable compacts which can reduce waste. TerraCycle has a Personal Care and Beauty Brigade mail in recycling program which accepts most items.
Nail polish: Considered HHW and can be brought to HHW facilities that accept it. Chemwise runs a mail in recycling program.
Toothbrushes and Razors: These are not recyclable unless purchased from Preserve and recycled through their Gimme 5 Program.
Feminine Hygiene Products: Consider reusable menstrual cups and cloth pads instead of traditional, plastic-based, disposable products.
Remember, you can recycle shoes at DePaul!
accepts no longer wearable athletic shoes for recycling into artificial turf and other products.
There are many great organizations you can donate a no longer needed car to: