One Person’s Trash is Another’s Treasure

Repurposing, reusing, and recycling old junk can be a cost effective way to decorate and organize. Use an old wine box to organize your shoes and a hanging shoe rack to organize your pantry. Untangle your wire drawer with toilet paper rolls, repurpose an old suitcase into a medicine cabinet, or use an old computer tower as a mailbox. If you play the guitar, get a pick punch to make picks out of old credit cards. Mounted wall hooks can be made from old wrenches, spoons, forks, and knives. If you have an old card catalogue, use it as an alcohol cabinet. If you have an old mini fridge, use it as a T.V stand with a built in storage compartment. For the women, cork boards are great for hanging jewelry and shower hooks are perfect for hanging handbags in the closet.

When it comes to electronics, there are several companies out there (Recyclebank, Usell, and Gazelle, to name a few) that buy old phones at top dollar prices. Many components can also be scavenged from old electronics. Some parts like the CPU, RAM, and battery packs can be taken out and sold. Other parts can be broken down to extract the precious metals inside. Gold, silver and palladium can be found in female connector pins, integrated circuits, and monolithic ceramic capacitors. Although worth less, copper and steal can also be collected from old electronic devices.

While you’re recycling your electronics, you may as well have a look around the recycling center. Search the paper section for current newspapers, wrapping paper, gift bags, or unused padded mailers. Also check the metal recycling area. There are usually a few good gems lurking within the heaps of scrap metal.

Selling your old wine bottles and corks on eBay can supplement your drinking habit. And for those of you with luscious locks, hair extension companies, wig makers, and heirloom hair weavers will pay good money for long, unbleached, hair. Check out sites such as,, or to see how much your hair is worth. Depending on its shade, length and condition, you could receive anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for your hair; so don’t skimp on the conditioner.

Another recyclable item that is communally wasted is cooking oil. Because it can be used to make biodiesel, firms and individuals alike are on the constant hunt for used cooking oil. Search the internet and newspaper for local buyers. In many cases, people will trade products or services for your used oil. Otherwise, expect to get paid between 33 and 66 cents per gallon. Alternatively, you can use your cooking oil, converting it into fuel to run your car or heat your house.


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