Free Binders for School, Home, Business: Just Come Pick Them Up

Teachers, students, community groups, churches, day care operators, anyone: the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District has lots of binders left over from Zero Landfill Cleveland’s operations this past summer.

Free binders at the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District

Free binders at the Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District (photo credit: Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District)

  • What: binders of various sizes, colors, capacities, perfect for organizing and displaying information and materials.
  • Where they came from: surplus materials donated to Zero Landfill Cleveland by the local graphic design, interior design and architectural community.
  • Who: free to anyone who will pick them up.
  • Where: Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District’s Garfield Heights facility, 4750 E 131st Street in Garfield Heights (map).
  • More information: call (216) 443-3749.

Zero Landfill Cleveland kept these binders out of the landfill. Now they’re looking for some good homes.

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More About Toilet Paper Cores

Toilet Paper Core

Still useful, even after they’re empty. (Photo credit: Luigi Chiesa)

I just came across a delightful graphic demonstrating several ways to use empty toilet paper cores: to create wall art, to hold office supplies and other odds and ends, to keep rolls of wrapping paper safe and tidy. Check them out here.

My reluctance to discard these things probably qualifies me among the lunatic fringe of recyclers. (It’s my mom’s voice in the back of my mind: “are you sure someone can’t use this?” I bet she’s surprised to find out that I really was listening.) When the local daycare center greeted with joy my offer of a bagful of the things, I decided to let the world call me crazy and keep saving them.

Recycle Refrigerator Magnets: Answering a Reader’s Question

A reader left a comment recently on my original (March 31, 2011) Keep It Out of the Landfill post, asking whether I can suggest any ways to recycle old refrigerator magnets. Great question, and one I wish I’d thought of myself.

Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Refrigerator with Magnets

Are you ready for some new uses for those refrigerator magnets? (Photo credit: Jacinda Santora)

  • If they’re the flat, flexible magnets, cut them to whatever size you need and glue photographs or other scrapbook-y things to them. Keep them to use on your own refrigerator, or give them to family and friends.
  • If you have a small business, cut them to business-card size and glue your business cards to them for distribution to customers and prospects. (I’ve bought business-card size magnets to use for this purpose. That’s why I wish I’d thought of the question myself.)
  • Attach a magnetic strip or small magnet to the side of your desk to control stray paper clips.
  • Keep one in your sewing kit to clean up needles and pins.
  • Keep a couple in your tool box to hold screws while you’re taking something apart.
  • Glue one to the end of a ruler — better yet, a yardstick — to retrieve small metal things that fall into awkward places. Keep one of these in the car to pull small objects out from under the front seat or the corner of the trunk.
  • Use them for crafts: use the back pocket from an old pair of jeans to turn one into a notepaper holder or make a photo-frame magnet. (Check out this YouTube video.)

And if you exhaust all your own crafty ideas:

  • See whether a local preschool/daycare center can use them. I recycle some weird household discards that way, and the daycare folks are delighted to have them. (See my July 26 blog post.)
  • Offer them “free to a good home” on Craigslist or Freecycle.
  • Get really good at reusing them, and you can probably teach a class on things you can do with them.

You may have been told to keep magnets away from your computer because they’ll erase your data. In the days of floppy disks, this was an issue, but evidently it’s no longer considered a serious problem. Check out this post from Greg Keizer of PC World. (Personally, I still don’t keep magnets near my computer. But I’m getting old and set in my ways, and I’d rather avoid problems than solve them.)

Anyone have more ideas about what to do with refrigerator magnets? Let me know, and we can share them.