Repurposing Tips

Use it up, make it do or do without.” A popular slogan during the Great Depression has found new meaning today with those seeking to adopt more green ways in their lifestyle.  In fact for many this slogan is currently a way to be more frugal/economically more than it is a way to help the environment. How about the popular Recycle, Reduce, Reuse.  Repuposing is one way to reuse.

What does repurposing mean? Unlike upcycling, repurposing means that the original object is not modified (or very slightly modified, re-painted…).

Maybe for you it translates into not going out and buying new items, but first looking for the needed item in thrift and consignment stores or on popular internet auction sites.

Repurposing Tips

• Stop using disposables. Use something that is meant to be reusable like a ceramic plate, a drinking glass or a reusable shopping tote instead of their single-use counterparts.

• Donate to your local thrift store, library, food pantry, etc.

• Sell your reusable goods on the internet (ebay, craigslist) or sell locally (garage sale). Recycling and repurposing earns you a little extra green in your pocket, see these tips below.

• Buy used when you can. Local thrift stores are often a great option as is the internet to look for exactly the product you want.

Make money recycling/repurposing

Looking for some spare change? Who isn’t at least some days. Recycling and Repurposing is a great way to earn a little extra cash. Here are some great tips.

• The Internet makes it easier than ever to find people looking for something you don’t want anymore, and several businesses and nonprofits base their entire model on the fact that there is still plenty of life left in that cell phone or computer.

• Use New York States Bottle Bill to your benefit. NYS pays 5 cents per eligible can, bottle, and container. Did you know that this also covers more than soda cans and bottles, it also cover disposable water bottles, wine based beverage bottles, etc. Look for the NYS 5 cent return symbol on your next bottle and return them at any redemption center.

• E-waste: You can turn in old electronics to the e-waste trailer at the Fort Drum Transfer Site. If you have usuable electronics that still have value try to sell them on craigslist (, ebay ( or sites like BuyMyTronics (

• Cell Phones: In New York State many cellular phone stores will give you credit for your old cell phone when you purchase a new cell phone. Make sure to ask about this when shopping for that new phone.  Your phone not eligible, check out the many internet stores which buy back old phones like ReCellular ( )Interested in donating your cell phone? Check out these great stops:

• Toner/Ink Cartridges: Stores like Staples will give you a $2.00 credit for each cartridge. See particulars here: Here is the information from their website (current July 2013).

• Have Books, CDs or DVDs you don’t want anymore? Selling on the internet is always a choice. Want to swap them out for more books? Try sites like Paper Back Swap ( or try amazon for selling back your used books.    Want to stay local, inquire if a used book store like A Second Look book store on Court Street in Watertown buying your titles right now.

• Got extra clothes in great condition. Try selling them in a consignment store like the Fort Drum Thrift Store on Fort Drum or Solitary Consignment, America’s own or Classy Kids in Watertown NY to name a few. Better yet, hold a garage sale. They get rid of your unwanted items, simplify your home, provide a venue for meeting like minded people in your community and earn you a little extra cash.

• Part of a large group? Try TerraCycle ( where waste can translate directly into cash. Terracycle allow groups and nonprofits to collect everything from candy wrappers to Solo cups and turn them in for cash. Terracycle takes this “trash” and uses it to produce a varied line of new products, which includes everything from toys to trash cans.

Textiles. The DPW has established a comprehensive textile recycling program for use by all Fort Drum personnel. All Fort Drum personnel are strongly encouraged to participate in the textile recycling program. Textiles must be clean and dry, examples are: all footwear (singles also), all clothing (holes, missing buttons, broken zippers also fine), all linens (including sheets, comforters, towels etc.), accessories (duffle bags, purses, belts, gloves, ties, scarves, robes, stuffed animals, etc.).  Drop off sheds are designated yellow for easy identification.

Last Revised 1 May 2017