FIRE EXTINGUISHERS. There are two types of extinguishers. For a dry-chemical extinguisher, safely relieve the remaining pressure, remove the head from the container and place it with your bulk-metal items (check with your local recycler first). Alternatively, call fire-equipment companies (listed in the phone book) and request that they dispose of your extinguisher. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are refillable after each use.
FOOD PROCESSORS. Some communities accept small household appliances for recycling -- if not in curbside collection, then in drop-off locations. (New York City will even pick up appliances left on the sidewalk.) "If an appliance is more than 50 percent metal, it is recyclable," said Kathy Dawkins, director of public information for New York City's Department of Sanitation. Most appliances are about 75 percent steel, according to the Steel Recycling Institute. So unless you know something is mostly plastic, it will probably qualify.
GADGETS. There are many ways to recycle PDAs, MP3 players and other devices so that any money earned from the parts goes to worthy causes -- a win, win, win scenario (for you, the environment and charity). Recycleforbreastcancer.org, for example, will send you prepaid shipping labels, recycle your gadgets, then donate the proceeds to breast cancer charities.
GLUE. Many schools have recycling programs for empty containers of Elmer's glue and glue sticks. Students and teachers rinse out the bottles, which are then sent to Wal-Mart for recycling. Find out more at www.elmersgluecrew.com.
GLUE STRIPS AND INSERTS IN MAGAZINES. Lotion samples and non-paper promotional items affixed to glue strips in magazines should be removed because they can jam up recycling equipment (scented perfume strips, on the other hand, are fine). "One of the biggest challenges we get is pages of promotional stickers and stamps," said Matsch, "which can adhere to the machinery and tear yards of new paper fiber."
HANGERS (PLASTIC). These are not widely accepted at recycling centers because there aren't enough of them coming through to make it worthwhile. However, some cities, such as Los Angeles, are equipped to recycle them. You might consider donating them to a thrift store.
HANGERS. Some dry cleaners and Laundromats will reuse them. Otherwise, they can be recycled with other household metals. But be sure to remove any attached paper or cardboard first.
HEARING AIDS. The Starkey Hearing Foundation recycles used hearing aids, any make or model, no matter how old. Lions Clubs also accept hearing aids (as well as eyeglasses) for reuse. Log on to www.donateglasses.net/hearingaids.html to find designated collection centers near you.
HOLIDAY CARDS. After they've lined your mantel for two months, you could throw them into the recycling bin, or you could give them a whole new life. St. Jude's Ranch for Children, a nonprofit home for abused and neglected youths, runs a holiday-card reuse program in which the kids cut off the front covers, glue them onto new cards and sell the result, earning them money and confidence.