Recycling and Reuse in RVA

As I've posted previously on this blog, I try to be mindful about what I do with the stuff that leaves my house, be it trash, clothing, toys, household items, etc.  Even so, many times I find myself either throwing something away that I feel certain can be reused/recycled or passing along things for reuse through channels that may not be optimally effective for the item in question.  In an effort to help myself discover and keep track of the best channels of recycling for reusing here in Richmond, Virginia I have created this page.  This is - and will remain - a work in progress and I will add to and update the information here as I learn about new recycling and reuse programs and organizations.  If you have any suggestions for either national programs or for local programs and organizations to be included here, please leave a comment or send me an email at  Thanks!

Of course, no matter where you live (for folks here in the US), the number one spot to go to if you have a question about where to recycle something is Earth 911.  You can search for recycling options by address, zip, city, and state.

* Wine corks are a renewable, recyclable material that don't belong in the landfill and Whole Foods has partnered with CorkReHarvest to collect corks (read more about the partnership here).  Corks collected here in RVA are transported to Jelinek Cork Group, one of the oldest cork manufacturers in North America, where old corks will be made into post-consumer products.  After reading this, I will now be more deliberate about buying wines that use natural corks instead of screw tops or plastic.  When I last dropped off the corks I had been saving at the Short Pump Whole Foods I couldn't find the box, but the folks at customer service were glad to take them and confirmed that they were indeed being collected there.

Mattresses and Box Springs
* Of course, if your mattress is in bad shape, then you should plan to dispose of it and not donate it for someone else's use.  That being said, if your mattress is in good shape then passing it along to someone else who can use it is a good thing to do (and keeps bulky items out of the landfill).  Most local thrifts in RVA do not accept donations of used mattresses and box springs - if you are aware of one, please let me know.  The Salvation Army does, however, accept donations of mattresses and box springs of any size and will even pick them up in most areas around RVA - simply call 804.359.0269 x350 to arrange for a truck.  Freecycle is another great way to find a new home for a gently used mattress and box springs. I once listed a set for my brother and I had about a dozen requests for them within minutes.  Just a note that Henrico County will not accept mattresses and box springs in the "too good to throw away/free" area of their landfills.