How can I reuse or recycle wax-lined paper cups?

waxed-cupWe’ve had an email from Brennan:

After a quick search on Recycle This, I noticed nothing popped up for paper-wax cups that are popular at fast food restaurants or 7-11 stores.

I was wondering if you had any recommendations on how to recycle or reuse these cups since local curb side programs refuse to collect them due to the wax lining inside.

Yes, we’ve covered plastic cups, sippy cups and even cardboard cup sleeves but not those oh so common waxed paper cups – it’s funny the things I forget about sometimes :)

There is, of course, a big argument for avoiding getting them in the first place but sometimes it’s pretty much unavoidable – so what can be done with them?

I know regular waxed paper can be used to lubricate things around the home, lightly protect wooden surfaces and help prevent rust/grime on garden tools etc – I wonder if the wax coating on cups is waxy/transferable enough for that… Anyone know?

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12 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle wax-lined paper cups?”

  1. artemis fooch says:

    You can save them and use them to urinate in. I can confirm that urine eats these cups more rapidly than just ordinary natural degrading in a landfill. This could in-turn save on water costs for the “anti-if it’s yellow, let it mellow,” folks. Especially in those areas suffering from drought, you can be green after all…

  2. Matt Scholey says:

    These can be recycled along with the tetra-pak drinks cartons where facilities exist.

  3. yasmin says:

    save them and sell them to some company or some instituation.

  4. Benjamin says:

    Waxed paper cups can be safely composted. All starchy/wax products compost better in large volume compost production, but if you shred a few and add to your home compost, they will become humus. Remember, the smaller the product added to the compost, the faster it composts.

    Depending on where you live, there may be a retailer that composts on a large scale. Whole Foods Market, for example, in many locations have compost bins for customers to use.

  5. HuntingWabbits says:

    I’m not sure why, but I’m picturing these cups each with a hole in the bottom, hanging from a string. Why? Ghetto Mickey D’s windchimes? Perhaps birdfeeders?

    • louisa says:

      The local primary (age 4-11) school near us has a tree full of bird feeders made from a fast food chain’s little coleslaw/sauce cups.

  6. Barbara in AZ says:

    I took many, many paper coffee cups, tore open the seam, and peeled out the bottom, and rimmed top. Flattened it and ran thru a one shred shredder. With the 1/4 inch strips wove into 4 x 4 inch coasters. Glued around the edges on the back and using junk mail 1/2 inch strips folded over to seal and glue. Big bulldog clips helped with weaving and sealed edges. They are very durable and I’ve had the same red Starbucks cups-into-coasters for two years. Not much wearing out yet.

  7. Olia says:

    Rince them and use for cold drinks.

  8. Frugal millionaire says:

    Those are perfect for starting avocado seedling. Cut 1 inch hall in the plastic lid, fill the cup with enough water to deep just part of avocado seed in it. Cut criss cross small slits in a nose ( bottom narrow part) of avocado, place nose down into the hall of the lid, so avocado partially touches the water. Wait for it to sprout.

  9. Frugal millionaire says:

    Some double layered plastic cups with solid plastic lids have image behind the outer layer of plastic, which is made of paper. When this paper gets ruined or you just with to replace it, you can replace it with some beautiful paper cup image. Just cut the paper cup along the seem, remove the bottom and insert the leftover, the new image inside plastic cup. To do this you have to unscrew outer part of plastic cup, remove old image, replace it with new and screw everything back together. :) You are lucky if the size of new image fits perfectly, you can adjust it if it’s larger than needed, and make sure it’s not smaller. Although, it’s all up to your imagination.

  10. Gary says:

    They accept these at the landfill too.

  11. Galina says:

    Add elastic and decorate to make party hats.

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