Recycling and the Environment

I firmly believe that everyone can make a difference in preserving our environment so that it will be here for a long time to come.  I've condensed some of the recycling information I've found on this page and have links to many other sites with information that will help you figure out how to recycling some things you never knew you could.

Here are some of the links I've found:

If you are in Pima County and would like some info about hazardous waste and recycling, click here.  To see 101 ways (why is it always 101?) of reducing your impact on the environment, see this site.

Medicine Bottles: One of the unique ways of recycling that I've encountered is for medicine bottles.  The Primavera Foundation in Tucson uses donated bottles to put shampoo, hand cream, and other semi-liquids in so that homeless people can have a small supply of health products that are easy to carry.  For more information about the Primavera Foundation, click here or here.  If you are going to donate your medicine bottles here, please remove the labels first and any other identifying information. 

Rubberbands: I am currently working with the newspapers in Tucson on finding ways of recycling rubber bands to them so they can be used on our newspapers during deliver to houses.  I've sent an email to them and will hopefully have a link to further information soon on how to recycle rubber bands.

Batteries and Other Household Waste: Unfortunately, there are no programs at the University of Arizona or in Tucson that recycle alkaline batteries.  The best we can do is to drop them off as hazardous household waste at 2440 West Sweetwater Drive, Friday or Saturday 8 am - noon.  This location also accepts:

  • Automotive Fluids
  • Batteries
  • Drain Openers
  • Hobby Chemicals
  • Household Cleaners
  • Lawn & Garden Products
  • Medications
  • Paint Products
  • Pesticides
  • Polishes
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Solvents
  • Items Labeled: Acid, Flammable, Caustic,
    Poison, Caution, Toxic, Danger or Warning

All of these products can destroy the environment and should not be dumped down the drain or into sewers.  For more information, click here.

The following information was forwarded to me by Sarah B. at the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency:

How to Recycle Overhead Transparency Film
Just ship your used transparencies to the following address:
Gemark, 99 Stevens Lane, Exeter, PA 18643
(570) 654-5511

CDs are Recyclable!
If you can't get the scratches out using a small amount of toothpaste to "sand" the scratches down, send old CDs to:
Plastics Recycling, 2015 South Pennsylvania St, Indianapolis, IN 46225
(317) 780-6100

Envelope Recycling: What about Tyvek?
We can recycle all paper envelopes in our curbside recycling, but what about those white FedEx or Priority Mail envelopes that you just can't tear? They are made of Tyvek, a durable plastic fiber manufactured partly from old milk and water jugs. Tyvek is recyclable, BUT NOT IN PAPER RECYCLING BINS. The manufacturer wants them back to turn them into new envelopes.
How To Recycle TYVEK Envelopes:
Collect your Tyvek envelopes separately. Look for the Tyvek brand name printed on the back of the envelope and the triangular symbol identifying that it was made of #2 HDPE plastic. Turn a big Tyvek envelope inside out, so the unprinted white surface shows on the outside. Stuff the inside-out Tyvek envelope with other used Tyvek envelopes for recycling. Address and mail the envelope to:
Terry Fife, Tyvek Recycling Specialist, 5401 Jefferson Davis Highway, Spot 197 - Room 231
Richmond, VA 23234
For more about Tyvek recycling:

How to Recycle Inkjet Cartridges and Cell Phones
Visit where you can order a few envelopes for yourself
or whole displays for you workplace. Best of all, they provide everything you

For a lot of scientific information about the environment and public policy, see the Union of Concerned Scientists at

Another great site for environmental information and how to recycle is at:




2007 Arizona Board of Regents for The University of Arizona