Upcycling,  Donating, and Preventing Waste in Jersey City

Avoid unnecessary and excessive packaging to reduce waste

Avoid Excessive Packaging
Packaging-related materials make up more than 30 percent of landfill waste—or around 75 million tons each year.  Buying fresh food that does not come prepackaged reduces packaging waste. Individually packaged single-use items contain more packaging and are generally more expensive than buying larger containers. Whenever possible, choose recyclable packaging and containers. Then reuse your containers or upcycle them. Upcycling is taking an object and reusing it for another purpose.

If you order frequently from online retailers, consider these hacks to reduce the packaging you receive.

Terracycle is a recycling collection program for items usually not recycled by municipalities like plastic pouch packaging. These include wrappers from energy bars, juice pouches, laundry detergent pouches, chip bags and other hard to recycle packaging. The UPS locations in Jersey City take your extra packing peanuts and bubble wrap and reuse them in order to lower their carbon footprint and help you easily recycle.

Reduce Waste: Donate!

Please consider donating clothes in good condition

Please consider donating unwanted clothing and other household items in good condition to local Jersey City organizations instead of throwing it away in the trash:

Buy or Rent Used Clothing
Need something “new” to wear? Consider shopping at a reuse or consignment store, where used clothing is sold for far less than new. Jersey City has great used clothing stores with both current trendy items and plenty of retro styles — check out these consignment store yelp reviews. There are also a growing number of online stores where you can buy (and sell) used clothing. Rather than purchase each individual item, consider renting clothing for a short time or a special event.

“Little Free Libraries” like at Four Corners Park in Paulus Hook allow neighbors to share unwanted books

Donate Unwanted Stuff to Neighbors or Online in Jersey City
Freecycle Jersey City
List items to give away for free on Craigslist. Try a “Curb- alert” and place good condition items on the curb — post on Craigslist for free.
Bicycle Rehab Centers – Jersey City Bicycle rehab facilities collect used bicycles or parts from discarded bicycles.
The Hudson Transportation Management Association (TMA) receives donated bicycles and rehabs them for eligible residents.





Upcycle your used items

Upcycling is taking items you no longer want to use (like old cloths, bottles, broken items, containers..) and creatively turning them into new products of better quality or better environmental value. Instead of throwing out unwanted or broken items that will end up in a landfill, upcycling finds a new value for a so-called useless object. Upcycling is better for the environment than recycling, since recycling requires energy or water to break down materials.

You can make jewelry out of countless items, such as buttons, plastic bread tags, spoon handles, safety pins, and paper. Empty bottles can serve many purposes, for example filling glass bottles with lights as a decoration on a Image result for soda can tab bagfireplace or as a chandelier or light fixture. Jeans that are torn at the bottom or too short can be easily cut into shorts. Old socks can be made into sock puppets. Soda can tabs can be collected and made into bags, belts, bowls, bracelets, and so on. Use toilet paper rolls to hold and organize chords, turn old credit cards into guitar picks, turn old wrenches into wall hooks, and old suitcases can be turned into medicine cabinets, or side tables. Want more ideas? Here is a list of 100 ways to repurpose broken household items. Here is a pinterest board to find exactly what you are looking for. The creative list can go on and on. Using your imagination and creativity to create new items from old items is a great way to prevent waste, save money, and have fun at the same time.

In Jersey City and in surrounding cities there are upcycling companies that take your items, upcycle them, and either return them or sell them in a store. One place in Hoboken takes your furniture and thrift shop items and turns them into better pieces for you by refurbishing and uplifting them. In Fairfield, New Jersey, a company called Upcycle LLC helps customers upcycle their retired/old electronics by making recommendations to maximize its value. This is very important because 60% of used electronics end up in landfills where their toxic metals leak into the environment.  There are many other creative reuse marketplaces in New Jersey to help you in your creative upcycling needs.