Wine Corks (Image Credit: Valerie Everett)

5 Organizations that Recycle Products You Wouldn’t Expect

Wine Corks (Image Credit: Valerie Everett)

Wine Corks (Image Credit: Valerie Everett)

Spring cleaning is right around the corner as soon as we all thaw out from winter’s lingering cold. Better than just throwing your no longer loved possessions to the side, consider donating them somewhere. Often times when I think of recycling I think of cans, electronics or maybe everyday clothes that do not fit anymore. Below are five organizations that would be happy to take things you may have never thought of giving away.

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children accepts new and used, all-occasion greeting cards all year. They recycle the cards and then create new ones from them. Money raised from selling the new cards helps fund programming for abused, neglected or homeless children, young adults and families. Plus, it’s teaching the kids at the ranch great entrepreneurial lessons. Currently, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is asking for Birthday and Thank You cards specifically.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in, here are some things to keep in mind: The front of the card is the only half that will be repurposed. Hallmark, Disney or American Greeting cards cannot be accepted. Cards that are 5 x 7 inches or smaller are ideal.

Brides Across America

Brides Across America has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America and in People. They are a non-profit that helps United States military brides by gifting them free wedding gowns.  They accept wedding dresses not more than five years old as well as monetary donations. They will also take veils, tiaras and accessories. Donating your dress is a way to help another bride not have to worry about the financial strain of having her dream wedding.


Here’s an easy one to participate in for wine lovers everywhere. ReCork wants your corks! ReCork offers a recycling answer for wineries and individuals. They even offer help in marketing support for wineries that want to be dedicated to recycling and sustainable practices. If this is how you choose to do your part, the corks sent in are currently used in SOLE’s cork footwear line. ReCork has plans to expand into repurposing the corks for other items in the future.

Note that not all wine closures can be used for recycling. As of right now, ReCork only wants natural cork and not plastic or aluminum closures. Champagne corks and some others are composed of granular particles. Those are okay to be recycled.

Starkey Hearing Foundation

Starkey Hearing Foundation is always looking for hearing aids. The foundation seeks to help people who are deaf or hard of hearing in the U.S. They collect any make or model of hearing aid. It does not have to be brand new, any age is acceptable. This is awesome for recycling and helping others.

Keys for Hope Foundation

The Keys for Hope Foundation is a non-profit that seeks to end hunger. The foundation helps by raising money from key drives and donations. The keys are weighed and then sold at recycling centers for scrap metal. Roughly fifty keys make a pound according the FAQs on Keys for Hope’s website.  The money made from the keys is used in a variety of ways. It may go to purchasing food for food pantries or it may go to other organizations who share a similar goal. Instead of individual donations, the organization focuses on people hosting collection drives. This could be done at work places, school or even just between groups of neighbors.

Eye glasses, ink cartridges, clothes and most electronics can be recycled more widely. These five organizations give you a chance to go beyond the norm. In the end, it is a win-win situation. You have less clutter and the organizations can support causes near and dear to them.

Image courtesy of Valerie Everett
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