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Items that cannot be recycled in a curbside bin

Many items cannot be recycled in a curbside bin, but can still be kept out of the landfill!
Visit Earth911RecycleNation or call 1-800-RECYCLING to search for places within your zipcode to recycle any type of item!

For an A-to-Z guide on recycling just about anything, including many brand-specific items, check out this article from Real Simple. Also go to TerraCycle to learn how you can be rewarded for doing it! Many items can be reused or upcycled into crafts, just make sure you aren't exposing yourself to hazardous materials (or creating additional waste) in the process. Check out these upcycling ideas on Pinterest.


  • Clothes, shoes, and other fabrics that are too worn out to be donated can be taken to The North Face (3001 S Washburn St, Oshkosh) and as part of their Clothes the Loop program you will get a coupon for $10 off a $100 purchase. 
  • Download the Stuffstr app to offer items to friends and family via your smartphone or find local donation stations.
  • Send your old denim in to Blue Jeans Go Green be turned into insulation!
  • Wire hangers are generally not accepted by curbside programs, but many dry cleaners will accept them for reuse.



  • Batteries+Bulbs (1667 W 20th Ave, Oshkosh) accepts lead acid, nickel cadmium, nickel metal hydride, litium ion and lithium polymer batteries. Fees may apply.
  • Best Buy (1550 S Koeller Ave, Oshkosh) accepts rechargable batteries.

Electronic Waste

  • Many mobile carriers, like AT&T, offer $$ for trade-in of old devices.
  • Best Buy (1550 S Koeller Ave, Oshkosh) accepts devices, appliances, ink & toner cartridges, music & movie disks. Fees may apply, especially for larger items, but you can also earn $$ off some new products!
  • Staples Rewards members earn $$ back for ink & toner recycling. Even if you are not a member, they will still recycle cartridges for free.
  • Staples (1126 S Koeller Ave, Oshkosh) offers a trade in program for high-value items where they will give you a Staples eCash gift card. Items not accepted for trade-in value will still be recycled for free.
  • Chargers and cords can be recycled at Best Buy (1550 S Koeller Ave, Oshkosh).
  • EcoATM kiosks will accept many outdated devices and pay you cash for them. There is one in Oshkosh at Citizen's Community Federal Bank (351 S Washburn St)


  • Goodwill or Habitat for Humanity ReStore both accept furniture. If you live in the dorms, items collected during our move out landfill diversion efforts go to one (or both) of these locations.
  • Staples offers a trade-in and remanufacture program for office furniture through Davies Office.
  • Check out local FreeCycle groups.

Plastic Bags & Film

Did you know that many types of stretchy plastic film can be recycled at grocery stores? This includes bread bags, some produce bags, ziploc bags, cling wrap, etc. Not sure if your plastic is the right kind? Push your thumb into it; if it stretches, it can be recycled but if it tears (or doesn't have any give) it cannot. 

(Have you ever wondered why plastic film cannot be recycled in curbside bins? Check out the video below to see what a mess they make at our recycling facilities!)


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