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Recycling CFL Light Bulbs, Bottle Caps and CDs

Gift cards, plastic bottle caps, CDs and CD cases. I don’t know about you, but I have a nifty collection of these items and some, sitting in my closest. I never threw them out-  I always knew deep down, I would find a place that would recycle them or at the very least find a second use for them. Looks like my “environmental” hoarding tendencies paid off.

  • Gift cards and CD’s and other random items

I was pleasantly surprised when I strolled into Best Buy the other day and found a rather large bin with different compartments for recycling. And when I took an even closer looks I saw “gift cards” and “CD’s and CD cases” marked above the holes. I am not going to lie I did the “green” happy dance.

In September, we did a big clean up of our condo when we were back home. I kept all our used and random CD’s and their cases. It will probably be no surprise when I tell you that I trekked them from Montreal to Fort Worth in the hopes that I would find a place to recycle them. So, you can understand my excitement when I saw the glorious blue Best Buy recycling center. Not to mention, they also take those used gift cards that I have been holding on to use gift cards, which only added to my ecstasy.

Best Buy will not only recycle the items mentioned above, but they will take remotes and game controllers, plastic bags, rechargeable batteries, ink and toner cartridges, and  lastly wires, cords and cables. So, if you are looking to dispose of theseitems, it looks like you do not have to add them to the ever growing pile of junk in a landfill.

  • Plastic Bottle Caps

Whether you purchase a drink in a plastic or glass bottle, the cap is usually plastic unless you get really lucky and find a metal one. For almost a year now, I have been collecting plastic caps from all sorts of bottles. The reason I do is most recycling facilities do not accept small caps. While living in Wichita, Kansas I was fortunate enough to visit the recycling plant. I was told, seeing as the caps are so tiny, most of the time when mixed with other plastics they run through the machine and stay in tack. So all in all it is a pain in the butt to recycle them, unless you do it separately.

There are some recycling companies that tell you to just leave the cap on and the whole thing will be recycled. I know this sounds like a super simple answer, but we all know that recycling should be the last resort and reusing and upcycling are much better options.

What if I told you there was one company that not only takes back the caps, but creates all sorts of doormats from them? Let me introduce ReCap Company. To me this is pretty great idea and totally worth collecting my caps for.  Look at the mats- aren't they just perfect?

  • CFL light bulbs

For the longest time, I never knew CFL lightbulbs could be recycled. About 3 months ago, I had an accident and broke one. After cleaning up the light bulb, I immediately ran over to my computer to figure out how to dispose of it properly. In the past, I put them in a glass jar and dumped them in the trash. I was super happy when I found a local company (LRT Lighting Resources) here in Fort Worth that accepts all bulbs – broken or intact. I did, however, find out through my research that the city of Fort Worth, Lowe’s and Home Depot will take the CFL’s intact- not broken.

As you can see, if there is a will, there is most definitely a way. Sometimes it just takes a little extra effort to find ways to dispose, recycle or even upcyle uncommon items. Not sure where to begin? Head on over to Earth 911 and  discover where and how to recycle anything from plastics to glass to paper!

Let’s work together to keep our planet green and our landfills clean.

What items do you have difficulty recycling or disposing of?

Reader Interactions


  1. Small Footprints says

    I didn’t know that they took the CD cases … and I just recently found out about the gift cards. I was like you … hanging on to them because it seemed so bad to toss them in the garbage. I was thrilled when I found out that they could be recycled. Whoot! Thanks, as always, for another wonderful post!

  2. hollow tree ventures says

    This is great info! I’ve kept all sorts of these things, waiting to be able to recycle them. I even have a ton of those AOL CDs I used to get in the mail all the time, though some of them I repurposed as closet organizers in the nursery (cut through to the center hole so they can go over the closet rod, covered with decorative paper and marked each with different sizes Newborn – 24 months to keep all those clothes organized). Anyhow, it’s great to know where I can take the things that I can’t reuse in a craft project – thanks!

  3. Kathy says

    I’m moving and i’m going through all sorts of things. The CD recycling will be great since we have way too many of them. My question is about video tapes. Can they be recycled or should they be just donated to a thrift store? Any thoughts.

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