For those who love to decorate it’s time to give your house a little love and freshen it up. One of the best ways to do this is to invest in some new blinds. However, you may be wondering what to do with the ones you’ve already got. Should you throw them away, or is there something better to do with them? And what about all the different kinds of blinds there are? Surely they can’t all be treated the same! Many recycling places do not accept certain kinds of blinds. This gives recycling a whole new meaning when it comes to blinds. Certain types of blinds can be repurposed, while others can be gathered to use as material for creating other usable items. Here is a guide on how to recycle any of your blinds the best way.
Generally, aluminum blinds are made with completely recyclable aluminum and can be taken to any recycling center, or scrap metal yard. Be sure to clean the blinds thoroughly before dropping them off. You can easily do this by hosing them down with some water. If you are taking it to a scrap metal yard note that they won’t accept full blinds, only the parts that are made of aluminum and steel. You can get these by cutting the lift and ladder cords in order to free each slat.
Unfortunately, wood that has been treated in any way or painted cannot be recycled by conventional means. Recycling centers usually accept cut limbs, or lumber pieces that are left over, but wooden blinds don’t fit the criteria. This leaves donating as the best option. Not only will someone be able to reuse them, it is very eco friendly. If your wooden blinds are broken, there are several projects they can be used for, like using the leftover slats to make garden markers, or using them to create accent pieces for your furniture. Once you stop looking at them like blinds, the possibilities for what they can do are practically endless. The same story goes for faux wood blinds. These are made with a mixture of PVC and recycled hardwood which cannot be recycled a second time. Again, these can be donated, or used in a fun DIY project.
Roman Shades and Curtains
Fabric window coverings are some of the easiest to recycle. These are almost always in demand, and can be easily donated or given to a friend. If your shades are not in the greatest condition (torn or broken) you can take them apart to be taken to a recycling center. Simply use scissors to cut the fabric away from hardware and cords. Any leftover metal hardware can be recycled at a local center. Fabric can be taken to a clothing donation place like Goodwill, or you can also keep it to use in a project. Note that if your fabric is wet, has grown mildew, or been exposed to something hazardous, it’s better to throw it away.
Usually cellular shades are made using a plastic headrail, metal components and 100% polyester fabric. Polyester fabric is sometimes made using recycled materials like plastic bottles, but currently the technology doesn’t exist to melt down the fabric back into other usable items to be recycled multiple times. Polyester can, however, be shredded and reused to use in making quilts and as a filler for homes and cars. To recycle them simply cut the head and bottom rail off the fabric, and take it to a clothing donation place. They sell clothing that can be used, but also send soiled or scrap textiles to be shredded and used as filler and insulation.
Remember that reusing anything is always a better choice than recycling, simply because there is no extra energy spent to turn the material into something else. If you are ready to get rid of your old blinds but they still work, many organizations happily accept these. If for some reason you have blinds that were never used and are still in their packaging, Habitat for Humanity ReStore takes these in to resell them with other building materials that support the organization.
If they are used, but still work well, check to see if a friend or neighbor is in need of them. Another option is to take them to local places that offer help like churches, women’s shelters, and children’s homes, which usually accept any donations. Always remember, someone’s trash is someone else’s treasure!