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How to Go Green: How to Recycle Magazines

If you are an avid reader, chances are you could have a stock pile of old magazines quite easily. When you also care about the environment then the hard part, of course, is getting rid of them. You can’t just throw them out, but your recycling center in your local neighborhood refuses glossy paper, or does it? While this refusal generally used to be the case at most recycling locations, the fact is that most recycling centers and curbside pick-up services now accept glossy paper and magazines just fine. Call your local recycling service to be sure, but unless you live in a tiny, remote place, chances are they are ready, willing and able to accept magazines. Columbia, Tennessee is a relatively small town, but the recycling center here indeed does accept magazines and other glossy paper.

If your local services do not take glossy paper, though, don’t despair. There are many other ways you can recycle those magazines. First, you can try contacting the local library in your neighborhood and see if they could use a donation of old periodicals. Some libraries keep large selections of back issues of certain magazines and will be more than happy to take your cast-offs – though a lot will depend on what magazines you have, of course.

recycled green

You can use the individual pages for many different projects. If you garden, use them to line the bottom of a raised flower bed to keep weeds out or in compost for your flowers*. If you keep animals in your home, the paper can be used to line bird cages, or even shredded to use as kitty litter – perfect for the asthmatic cat who has problems with the dust from regular litter.

If you are more artistically inclined, you can find any number of aesthetic uses. You can use them for collages, for decoupage, turn those pages into interesting envelopes for letters, or even use them to wallpaper a craft room. Magazines cut in half diagonally (plus some paint and little baubles) can be turned easily into little Christmas trees for a great holiday decorating project – just cut the magazine from the top left corner to the bottom right corner, set the loose triangle aside for use in other projects, glue the front and back covers together, paint it and decorate with small ornaments, pompoms, beads, buttons, jewels, ribbons, etc.

*Magazines are not recommended for vegetable gardens because of the potential for lead in the inks and dyes.


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