Many more household items are resurfacing as unique consumer products, thanks to imaginative advances in
recycling. For example, discarded tires no longer need to be destined for landfill. Most contain reusable, nonbiodegradable materials such as synthetics, rubber and steel. Nowadays, expanding networks can direct
greater volumes of these materials to recycling facilities, turning out everything from pavement and playground
padding to fire-resistant shingles, carpet underlay and computer mouse pads. Another common product that
can be recycled into useful material is cork. Although easier to ship than tires, the challenge is to inspire more
consumers to save their toss-away wine corks and send them off to a depot. The recycled cork can become
useful again as water-resistant flooring, furniture, and even clothing fabric. Other household products that can
now be recycled are mattresses, gypsum wallboard, and even used diapers.
To find out more information, ask your municipality or local green organization about what’s recyclable in your community, and how you might save more household items from being trashed.