What to Do with What's Left

Find Other Uses

Wash and reuse empty glass and plastic jars, milk, jugs, coffee cans, dairy tubs, and other similar containers that otherwise get thrown out. These containers can be used to store leftovers as well as buttons, nails and thumbtacks. An empty coffee can makes a fine flower pot. Caution - Do not reuse containers that originally held products such as motor oil or pesticides. Also, never store anything potentially harmful in containers designed for food or beverages. Always label containers and store them out of reach of children and pets.

Turn used lumber into birdhouses, mailboxes, compost bins or other woodworking projects.

Reuse newspaper, boxes, packaging 'peanuts' and 'bubble wrap' to ship packages. Brown paper bags are excellent for wrapping parcels.

Donate or resell items to thrift stores or other organizations in need. Donors sometimes receive tax deductions or even cash. These organizations typically take everything from clothes and textiles to appliances and furniture. All should be clean and of respectable quality.

You can also sell secondhand items at fairs, bazaars, swap meets and garage sales.


Find out what is recyclable in your area and recycle it. Recycle Delaware accepts glass, plastic bottles, aluminum and tin cans, newspapers, magazines, phone books, and motor oil and oil containers. For more information on Recycle Delaware or to find out the nearest recycling center to your home, call 1-800-404-7080 from anywhere in Delaware.

As more businesses and organizations provide collection opportunities, take advantage of them. For example, many grocery stores collect plastic bags for recycling, and following Christmas Delaware State Parks collect Christmas trees for recycling into mulch.

Household Batteries

Keep batteries out of the waste stream. Batteries can release toxic materials when landfilled or incinerated. Bring all of your spent household batteries to the Recycle Delaware centers.

You can reduce the number of batteries you generated by using rechargeable batteries. The initial cost is greater than the cost of regular batteries, but since they are recharged hundreds of times, they will save money over their lifetime as well as conserving natural resources. Consider purchasing a solar-powered charger for rechargeable batteries.

Household Hazardous Wastes

Never pour anything down the drain or onto the ground unless the label on the container specifically states that this is a proper use of disposal of the product.

Take waste oil to a Recycle Delaware oil recycling igloo or service station offering oil recycling. Be careful not to mix the oil with other wastes, or it cannot be recycled.

Contact the Delaware Solid Waste Authority for information about household hazardous waste collection programs (1-800-404-7080).

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