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What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

We all want to keep items we use for our adventures out of landfills. We've heard from plenty of our members that snack wrappers are a hard item to dispose of. Thanks to a partnership with Subaru and TerraCycle, you can now recycle those wrappers at an REI store near you. As long as they're clean, individual, multi-pack, and family-size snack bags and wrappers, including chip, candy and granola wrappers, will be accepted.

What other hard-to-recycle outdoor items do you want the outdoor industry to recognize and help with? We're listening, so let us know in the comments below.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

Water filters!  Some can be recycled (Brita, PUR...), but what about Sawyers or even most that go into the fridge?  In addition, it's disappointing that Sawyer for example doesn't sell the filter unit alone.  You get the whole system and all those parts that you may not need and can't all be recycled.  I keep coming up with things I can use the syringes for, but I really don't need them and don't need a straw, additional bag each time I buy one.

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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

@taskmaster thanks for surfacing this one! This is exactly what we're listening for, and we've added it to our list.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

TerraCycle is great for recycling packaging from dehydrated meals as well!  I've actually mailed myself empty Backpacker Pantry bags to send in and they've added Mountain House as well.  It would be great to have local drop offs where everything could be dumped in to go to them rather than having the footprint of sending mailers back and forth for each company separately.  I feel like I need to hoard a bunch of snack bags and things before sending them in and I don't buy that many big box items.

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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

@taskmaster you can now bring those wrappers to your local REI store, as we are partnering with Subaru and TerraCycle to use the Zero-Waste box in all REI stores! Here's a bit more info about this effort, and a few specific events to help divert hard-to-recycle waste from local landfills.

At REI, we believe a life outdoors is a life well-lived.
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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

Camp stove fuel canisters!

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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

I have a few of these myself and can’t find a place to recycle them. 

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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

Yes!! Particularly ones that still have fuel in them that may or may not be safe to use anymore. 

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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

Definitely - fuel canisters!

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Re: What outdoor items do you have the hardest time recycling?

This is definitely an issue.  Since they are steel they should be easy to recycle but the fact that they are pressurized and may still contains some residual fuel is a problem.

There are some partial solutions...

For the butane mix "backpacking" canisters there is this...

https://www.rei.com/product/813638/jetboil-crunchit-recycling-tool

which helps if you want to recycle to the metal.   

It would be better if there was a light weight refillable butane mix canister that could be exchanged at all camping outlets.  That way partial canisters would not get wasted.  Butane mix fuel is not readily available in bulk as far as know.

There are now "refillable"  1lb propane "camping" canisters...

https://www.rei.com/product/113609/flame-king-refillable-propane-cylinder-1-lb

which you can refill from a 20lb exchangeable propane tank...

https://www.rei.com/product/113711/flame-king-refillable-propane-cylinder-with-refill-kit-1-lb

Again a cylinder exchange system would be a good since not everyone wants to have the gear or go to the trouble of refilling cans themselves.

Note that it is apparently "illegal" to refill the disposable canisters probably because the valves used have a very limited duty cycle and may leak on reuse.

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