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Top 5 Ways To Recycle And Reuse Office Products

Posted by Brett Richardson on Apr 08, 2016

In celebration of Earth Month, we thought it best to highlight a few of the innovative ways to recycle and reuse old office products. 

1. Send Writing Tools to TerraCycle

A great way to rid yourself of old markers, highlighters, pens, and pencils is to donate them to TerraCycle's Writing Instruments Recycling Program. TerraCycle has partnered with Sharpie, Newell Rubbermaid, and Papermate in producing this effective recycling program. It's relatively simple: join the program. Begin collecting writing instruments. Send them off to TerraCyle, where they are recycled into new products like plastic storage containers. You can also order ZeroWaste boxes to help your office expedite this recycling process for your team:

recycle box

2. Deconstruct and Recycle 3-Ring Binders

Many people think that because different types of binders are made up of several different materials that they aren't easily recyclable. It's actually pretty easy and takes just a few minutes. All you'll need is a flat head screwdriver. Take the flat head and loosen then pop out the rings, as per the video below:

For vinyl binders, it's a little more complicated. A good way to test your dedication to recycling!

First, pop out the rings just like above, the same as you would with a standard binder. You can have this metal ring portion recycled at your local recycling facility.

Second, take an exacto knife to the vinyl lining about half an inch from the edge of each panel. Unfortunately, most recycling centers do not consider vinyl recyclable. You can remove the chipboard and recycle both initial components, but it's best to consider eco friendly binders made with responsible materials that don't have to end up in landfills. Some companies will claim the vinyl they use is recyclable - it typically is not. Vinyl contains toxins that can leak into the earth during the landfill process. It's best to seek binders manufactured from more sustainable alternatives. 

3. DIY Fishing Lures Out of Old Pens

If you’re into fishing, you’re probably unaware that you have several potential lures lying around the office – just waiting to be reused. The best pens to shimmy into a fishing lure are ones with a transparent, preferably reflective, tube. The video below features a step-by-step process:

4. Send Your Pens to the "Pen Guy"

The Pen Guy, an artist-blogger-welder who uses pens to create intricate and colorful works of art, will accept any and all pens from any source provided they meet his criteria. This guy even opened his own pen welding shop last year! He collects over one hundred thousand pens for various projects, including the "Mercedes Pen II" seen below:

Mercedes Pen II

5. Donate Markers and Crayons to Crayola's ColorCycle Program

Whether you're picking up after your kids or your students, there are always an excess of markers, crayons, or pencils around. Crayola has developed a campaign to curb the amount of unnecessary toxins leaking into the earth via landfills - the ColorCycle Program. It's the companys' latest sustainability initiative, transforming old markers and crayons into clean-burning fuel. Check out the rest of their Green Initiatives here.

marker to energy process

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