Most of us habitually recycle junk mail, empty cans and other common household items that go into the blue bin. But there are several other items that are recyclable if you know where to take them.

Recolour your world
You should never pour leftover paint down the drain or into the sewer. Instead, many paint and building supply retailers have programs through which you can drop off cans with leftover bits of old paint to be recycled.

Caffeine boost
If you use a machine with coffee pods, many manufacturers offer mail-in or drop-off options to recycle the single-use containers. If you use ground coffee, you can repurpose the grounds as fertilizer in your garden.

Used and abused textiles
Many of us regularly donate clothing and linens that we’ve outgrown or no longer need. But you may not know that some of the charitable organizations that accept these reusable goods will also take scraps of other textiles, such as remnant fabric swatches left over from a sewing project, for recycling. Check with your local outlet to confirm before dropping them off.

Municipal affairs
A potential one-stop shop to drop off your atypical recyclables is your local household hazardous waste depot. Depending on the site’s capacity, they may collect things like paint and stain, aerosol containers, household cleaners, motor oil, electronics and more.

The write stuff
While we may live in a high-tech world, many of us still put pen to paper every day. While we’re used to putting the paper in the recycling bin when we’re done with it, did you know that you can also recycle pens and other writing implements when they run out?

All Staples Canada stores collect these items – plus batteries and electronics. You can find a location close to you and more information on recycling at