Recycle My Junk Drawer



As we begin to see the end of another long, cold winter and look longingly forward to the perfect warm-but-not-too-warm weather that comes with spring we can also begin preparing for an less exciting task. Spring cleaning.

When it comes to going through the clutter in your junk drawer that has accumulated over the winter, sorting into respective keep, trash, and recycling piles can seem rather daunting. You want to recycle everything you can. But at the end of the day you always end up with a pile of junk drawer things you’re not sure what to do with.

Here are seven items that may have ended up in that pile that you don’t have to throw in the trash.


Keys always seem to accumulate over time. Somehow there are always a few extras hanging around that fit into a long forgotten mystery lock. Those junk keys are made of highly recyclable metal that is taken at most recycling facilities. In 2012, Florida alone recycled an estimated 1,000,000 keys!

If you would rather donate your keys to a good cause, perhaps consider the program Keys for Hope. This organization collects and recycles keys to help provide food, clothing, and shelter for needy families.


Eyeglasses and sunglasses that you no longer use are very easy to recycle. By donating old prescription glasses to a Lion’s Club Eyeglass Donation Center you will be helping needy people all over the world see better. The Club sorts all of it’s glasses by prescription strength and match them up with people in need.

Foreign Coins

After spending any amount of time abroad, it is easy to come back home and have a number of coins that are suddenly unusable. If you don’t plan on visiting again anytime soon, it might be a good idea to consider recycling them.

UNICEF’ Change for Good Program is a great charity that accepts all types of foreign currency. The program focuses on improving the lives of impoverished children all over the world by helping with community projects that reduce the number of preventable childhood deaths.

Plastic Cards

Maybe you found a few gift cards that are now expired. Or perhaps you have finally decided you no longer need your collection of hotel key cards. These gift cards, IDs, key cards, etc. are primarily made out of PVC, which can be recycled and molded back into plastic PVC cards. The whole process is less energy intensive than creating new cards from scratch, and less plastic makes it into landfills.


Broken and orphaned crayons are frequently found in junk drawers. But as you’re doing your spring cleaning do not feel like you have to throw them away. It is really easy to combine all of your crayon shards and bake them into new crayons. This enables you to mix colors or mold them into larger sizes that are easier for young children to use.

If you really don’t want your crayons anymore though, consider sending them to the National Crayon Recycling Program. Crayons sent here are melted down and remolded into new crayons to be sold. The program has diverted over 102,000 pounds of crayons from landfills since it began collecting.