Hard-to-recycle items like mattresses, prescription bottles and tires have long been a concern for the environmental and recycling communities. Over the last few years, it’s been refreshing to see the conversation become more mainstream. In Colorado, for example, a nonprofit called “Spring Back Colorado” has taken on recycling old mattresses. Spring Back is able to recycle 90% of every mattress they collect and has kept 75,000 mattresses out of Colorado landfills to date.
Rhythm Rx, a pilot initiative out of San Diego, has found a way to transform old prescription bottles into musical rhythm instruments. Keep your eye out for Rhythm Rx collection sites at music festivals as their “Music Medicine” project continues to expand. Lastly, private sector group Liberty Tire Recycling out of Pittsburgh, turns old tires into crusher fines for athletic fields, trails and public parks. Athletic fields require approximately 125 tons of crumb rubber, which translates to a second life for 20,000 tires. Rubber mulch costs 65% less than wood and reduces the number of trees harvested for use as ground cover. Liberty collects tires from more than 60,000 locations nationwide, click here to learn more.