WHEELCHAIRS. Go to www.lifenets.org/wheelchair, which acts as a matchmaker, uniting wheelchairs with those who need them.
WINE CORKS. To turn them into flooring and wall tiles, send them to Wine Cork Recycling, Yemm & Hart Ltd., 610 South Chamber Drive, Fredericktown MO 63645. Or put them in a compost bin. "They're natural," says Matsch, "so they're biodegradable." Plastic corks can't be composted or recycled.
WIPES AND SPONGES. These can't be recycled. But sea sponges and natural sponges made from vegetable cellulose are biodegradable and can be tossed into a compost heap.
WRITING IMPLEMENTS. You can't recycle pens, pencils and markers, but you can donate usable ones to schools that are short on these supplies. At www.iloveschools.com, teachers from around the United States specify their wish lists. And there's always the option of buying refillable pencils and biodegradable pens made of corn (like those at www.grassrootsstore.com) so that less waste winds up in the landfill.
CHRISTMAS LIGHTS. Ship your old lights to HolidayLEDs.com, Attention: Recycling Program, 120 W. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1403, Jackson MI 49201. The company will send you a coupon for 10 percent off its LED lights, which use 80 percent less energy and last 10 years or more. And they're safer, too. LEDs don't generate much heat, whereas incandescents give off heat, which can cause a dry Christmas tree to catch fire. Ace Hardware stores accept lights as well; search by ZIP code at www.acehardware.com.
YOGURT CUPS. Many towns don't recycle these because they're made of a plastic that can't be processed with other plastics. But Stonyfield Farm has launched a program that turns its cups into toothbrushes, razors, and other products. Mail to Stonyfield Farm, 10 Burton Drive, Londonderry NH 03053.
Or you can join TerraCycle's Yogurt Brigade (currently available only in the Northeast) to recycle Stonyfield containers and raise money for your favorite charity. For every cup collected, Stonyfield will donate 2 cents or 5 cents, depending on the cup size. Go to www.terracycle.net.
ZIPPERED PLASTIC BAGS. Venues that recycle plastic bags will also accept these items, as long as they are clean, dry, and the zip part has been snipped off (it's a different type of plastic).