Some manufacturers are launching their own take-back programs for items that municipalities aren't set up to handle. These are some of our favorites.

By Virginia Sole-Smith
Updated September 22, 2017
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Collect at least five pounds’ worth of used water filters and the company will send you a free shipping label to return them. From there, TerraCycle breaks down the filters and recycles the useful parts into outdoor furniture, bike racks, and watering cans. Find more information at


More than 1.5 million pairs of worn-out athletic shoes are collected each year through Nike’s Reuse-a-Shoe program, which recycles them into playgrounds, tracks, and materials for new products. You can take up to 10 pairs of any brand to a participating Nike or Converse retail store. Find a participating store at


The Worn Wear program lets you trade in your used fleeces and yoga pants for store credit. The clothes are then sold at a discount on, which also features tips on simple repairs you can make yourself to keep your Patagonia gear working even longer. Go to


If you buy a toothbrush, razor, or food storage container from Preserve, they’ll let you mail it back when you’re finished so they can turn it into a new product. You can also send any type of clean, rigid plastic stamped with the number 5 (think yogurt containers), plastic caps, and plastic utensils. Find more information at