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If you're like me you go through a lot of aluminum cans in a week.  If you're like my wife you go through a lot of water bottles in a week.  If you're like my dad you go through a lot of paperwork in a week.  But, if you are alive and well and working then odds are you go through a lot of something in a week that could be put to use.  If you're done with it, why throw it away?  Why not recycle it?  Why not give it to someone who can reuse it?


When I first started my business I knew I wanted to recycle my old cans.  I go through at the very least one a day.  To throw them all away fills up my trashcan too quickly.  Frankly I don't want to take out the trash that often.  The cans I would send to the recycling center or give to a homeless person for him to make a buck.  But the rest of the stuff I would still throw away.  I was confronted about that one day.

"Why aren't you recycling your bottles and papers too?"

My answer was as candid as they come.  "I don't want this place to look like a recycling center.  I don't want three different bins for different kinds of junk."

I was floored with the response.  "You know that Keep Albany Dougherty Beautiful will sort it for you."

I know, I was shocked as well.  They'll sort it for you.  I mean, don't bring them your trash, but they will sort out all of your recyclables.  So, I have one bin that holds my cans, plastics and papers.  When it's full, I take it on down to the recycling center near my house, and  voilà.


There are tons of things that your average business discards that can be reused by other businesses.  I'm going to list a few of my favorites, but before I do, let me mention Good Will, Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, ARC and the like that take used items and gives or inexpensively sells to those in need.

Hangers - I don't know how often I go to the dry cleaners, but I have amassed more wire hangers than I could ever need.  I don't even use wire hangers.  I put my shirts on those plastic ones.  So, what am I to do with these wire hangers?  Start a collection?  Throw them away?  Nope, I take them back.  After all, to my knowledge the dry cleaners are the only ones using them anyway.

Vases - As she reads this, my wife is shuttering because I pronounce it vahz instead of veys.  Regardless of how you say it, we've got a lot of them around our house.  Again, we have no need to start a collection, so what are we to do with them?  No one wants an empty vase do they?  As a matter of fact, flower shops would love empty vases.  In fact, it could make a serious dent in their monthly expenses if people returned their vases.  Come flower-buying time, that's a good thing.

Cell Phones - We take cell phones for granted, but people around the world are making great use of them.  They help not only with communication but also with health care and economy.  Even if you think no one would want "this old thing," think again.  Even if it's broken it will likely contain reusable parts.  Take a look below at mbaOnline's Planet Text info-graphic to see some of the great things that cellphones are doing around the world.

mbaMobile Info Graphic
Created by: MBA Online