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Rachel B.
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi everyone - I've been reading the hoarding thread, and thought it might be good to start a thread of places to recycle things.  Some of your parents will be willing to get rid of some items, or some of the total of some items, if you can put it in the context of "X organization really needs these." and "this will help other people".  
For instance, I recently found that the library is thrilled to have used plastic grocery bags - they give them out to folks who find lots of great books unexpectedly and need a "book bag".  (I also use them to line my trash cans, but often accumulate more than I can use up.)
Also, when I worked in an office, one printer spit out a blank sheet of paper before every report.  I found a daycare that was thrilled to have it for coloring paper, even though 1 side had orange lines on it.  Pretty soon co-workers were stopping by to ask for some to take home, and for years they threw it away! 

Share other places you've found to donate stuff that we usually throw away!  I've tried for years to find who could use my clean plastic gallon jugs - ideas??  Maybe a senior center near you could use some of these type items for crafts - a craft person who goes to teach at a senior center might be the person to contact.  Or, summer arts programs for kids? (Including those styrofoam egg cartons!)
My biggest, years-long challenge?  A use for the 6 plastic rings that hold cans into a 6-pack.  They're certainly strong!  The only thing I've come up with is to put them over flowers like tulips, iris, etc., which often fall over - but if enough are close to each other, this helps them support each other.
Let's brainstorm!  
Reply with quote  #2 

There's an online grass roots thingy called 'Freecycle' that sounds great.  It's all over the US and has spread to Europe.  It consists of zillions of small local groups.  You join the group nearest you and can post and say

'I have X I want to get rid of, if anyone is interested please contact me.'  If anyone does then you and the other person make arrangements to transfer the item.

No money is involved the idea is to take something you don't need and find someone who wants it and give it to them.  If no one wants it in your local group you can then try posting it in another group in your area.    I found out about it in a newspaper article and from what I understand it's working.
donnaf-A Soldier's Mom
Reply with quote  #3 
I go to a resale shop that is run by the child crises center in our city. They always need the bags for their customers. I usually take them all my excess. To give to that organization always brings a smile and a good feeling. I also gave them some of my DH's clothes. Still have more to give.
Reply with quote  #4 
thanks Rachel and OhDear for those good ideas.

I think my Mom is waiting for someone to come up with craft or use ideas for all that stuff she is keeping. Hundreds of empty yogurt containers (the large ones). They would be great for decorating and turning into pots for plants, or whatever. If I got really motivated, I could come up with ideas and tell her I need them, then I could take them somewhere, or use them myself, or recycle them maybe.

I do grab a bunch of her plastic bags while I'm there. I use them in my bathroom wastebasket, so they do eventually end up in the landfill which I guess is not great.

I take some of her newspapers while I'm there too, and recycle those. But usually she won't let me because she wants to give them to the neighbor so he can use them for Boy Scouts (recycling??). This just adds to my workload, because she waits for me to call the neighbor, or to lug them over there myself. It's just easier for ME to take them home, you know? She won't call the neighbor herself, and ask to pick them up (which he would) because she never gets in the mood to do it. It's just one phone call. Oh well. So they just pile up in her house until I take some of them.

I brought back a big bag of her empty plastic milk jugs with me last week, to recycle for her. Again, she wants to just pile them up in her garage until she can take them out for recycling. She has not taken her trash out for several years now. If I had waited to let her do that, there would now be two and a half years worth of milk jugs out in her garage. I also bring back her regular garbage to throw out in my trash. She won't walk a bag of rubbish out to the end of her driveway. But she will walk out to get her newspaper and mail! Oh well.

Mary E.
Reply with quote  #5 
Hi Rachel,  This is a great idea.  I know that my mother would be more willing to get rid of the junk she has if she knew someone could use it.  She grew up during the Depression and doesn't like to throw out anyting.  At one time I had to stop her from drying out used paper towels (by hanging them on the stove handle) - for fear of a fire.

Do you have a recycling plant nearby?  Those plastic jugs and ring things are recycled into all kinds of things - even, (I think) fleece cloth that is used in blankets and clothing. 

Those plastic grocery bags are a nuisance.  I see them caught on trees everywhere.  My daughter recently went out into our wetlands while they were iced over and got a bag that had been hanging on a tree for about a year.  She hadn't been able to get it until mid winter.  They are everywhere - if we'd get used to using the cloth bags that most stores (around here) are promoting, there would be fewer plastic ones around. 
Reply with quote  #6 
Mary E, I know what you mean about the plastic bags. I hate to see them back in the woods, in the underbrush all over the place or stuck in bushes and trees. I hope one day the human race can stop using the plastic bags and go back to paper, or people will bring their own cloth bags with them. That is my plan for this week, to get some of those cloth bags. I used to think that just one person doing that, would only have some piddly effect, it wouldn't matter. But I guess, if one person does it...then the next...then the next....before you know it, it does help and it does matter.

Rachel B.
Reply with quote  #7 
Your discussion has reminded me of a few more things.  One of our large plant nurseries will take plastic flower pots - they have a big bin that's an exchange point, and said at the end of the year they go to a recycle plant.  I wonder if you might drop off the yogurt containers there?  (I use all sorts of things for plants!) 
I've also heard that the plastic grocery bags can be somehow woven or knotted together for a disposable outdoor doormat.  Not sure exactly how to finish it tho, and if it's windy like here, that probably wouldn't be so good.  In my area the grocery stores are now selling paper bags, with handles.  I haven't used them, but wonder how well they'd hold up to a gallon of milk or 5 lb bag of potatoes.  I do think the best answer is canvas.
billie jo
Reply with quote  #8 

just a quick note here. i read that san fransisco has banned the plastic bags. if that is true we need to start requesting paper or get the canvas or mesh bags. there is a use for pretty much everything and it really is time we start thinkng of this earth. anyway, good luck thinking up stories to tell the folks to pull at the heartstrings to get them to part with stuff.

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