Posts tagged "metal"

How can I reuse or recycle jerry cans?

We’ve had an email from Lieze:

how can i recycle an old jerry can in a creative way ?

Lieze doesn’t say whether it’s an old school pressed steel one or a newfangled plastic one – or whether it’s been used as a fuel container or a water one.

My first thought for anything container shaped at the moment is “plant pot” (has anyone else had a scarily successful germination rate for their seedlings this year?!) but I think I’d be hesitant to use an old fuel canister for that, even if I could work out a way to make the opening bigger. Anyway, that’s not particularly creative so … I don’t know – maybe if you can slice off the front off a metal one, you could attach hinges and make it into a fun storage cabinet. (I love the idea of it being painted bright pink for the juxtaposition with the cold, industrial metal ;) )

Any other suggestions?

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)

How can I reuse or recycle scraps of chicken wire?

We’ve had an email from Bruce:

I’ve got a large amount of chicken wire leftover after conducting some work in my garden. The biggest 1ft by 2ft, the rest smaller. Can I recycle them in my can bin?

While it certainly could be recycled as scrap metal, it might cause problems further down the can recycling line if you add it to your recycling bin, particularly if your recycling is sorted by machinery. If that bin is your only way of getting it into the recycling system, it might be worth contacting the recycling people at your local council and seeing what they advise (every council is different). Other than that, roaming scrap metal collectors are becoming more common again and most tips/household waste and recycling centres have scrap metal bins.

What about reuses? If you’ve got room to store it, it could be used for patching holes in the future and I know many sculptors use it to make wire frames for their work too. Other suggestions?

(Photo by Elné Burgers

How can I reuse or recycle abandoned shopping trolleys/carts?

My boyfriend John came up with an idea yesterday. We were just finishing up lunch when he said:

Darling beloved girlfriend of mine, have you featured old shopping trolleys on your terrifically awesome site Recycle This? Because there are currently three we’ll have to get rid of – the one half-buried in grass in the woodland next to our house and the two further down the stream in the woods proper (where all the rubbish collects at the bottom of a big hill and which we’re going to tidy up this summer). Your wonderful readers must be able to come up with some ideas for them and now, I’m going to make you a giant milkshake because I think you’re so great.

(I paraphrase slightly.)

Since they’re metal ones, they could just be scrapped but you know me, I’m much more about reuse than recycle.

By my guess, all the trolleys have been in their current place of residence for at least a couple of years so it’ll be both a pain to get them back to their original homes. I think they still technically belong to them, so if it’s obvious where they’re from, we might call to see if they’ll deal with it – but they’re not in a condition to be reused there – they’d probably just send them for scrap.

Any ideas?

(CCSA photo by de:benutzer:aeggy)

How can I reuse or recycle an old ladder?

Ladders are frequently decommissioned when they become a safety risk – the wood gets a bit rotten or metal bent or rusty – but they can still be used for other things — just not whole-human-weight things.

At my mum and dad’s house the other day, I spotted half an old wooden ladder had been reused as a cat ramp – the cats are getting old and they can’t jump up to the kitchen window sill any more so use the ladder to get up there and through the window (which they use instead of a cat flap). I’ve also heard about ladders being used as the basis of ramps for chicken coops.

Inside the house, old ladders can be used as fun bookshelfs – step-ladders with deeper rungs have more shelf space but rickety old wooden ones look more fun.

What else can be done with old ladders?

How can I reuse or recycle badges/pins?

We had a question on the ‘Suggest an Item’ page a while ago which I seem to have missed, so here it is. Sylvia asked:

How can I recycle old badges? plastic and metal.

Actually recycling them may be difficult as they tend to be mixed materials – metal and potentially multiple types of plastic but they’re perfect for passing on to someone else. A lot of people collect badges – doesn’t matter what’s on them or actually, the more obscure the better – so either offer them to a local charity/op shop or if you’ve got enough of them to make it worthwhile, offer them on your local Freecycle/Freegle or even eBay/Etsy/Folksy.

A question for badge makers – can old badges be recovered using badge making machine?

Any other ideas?

(Photo by Miss Frannington)