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What are some ideas for re-purposing common disposable items?

There are many items that are disposable that we now recycle. However, it takes energy to recycle things and I was wondering if some of this energy might be saved by re-purposing the items to a second functional need with no real treatment. Examples of disposable items that might be re-purposed include soda bottles, car tires and cardboard boxes. One example of a re-purpose is car tires being bound together and turned into reefs for sea life.

I am sure there are many items and uses. What are they?

I am mostly interested in functional uses rather than artistic ones.

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Closing Statement from Robert Galway

Thanks everyone for providing ideas.

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  • Nov 1 2013: To save shelf space in his workshop,my friend screwed the caps from jars into the bottom of his shelves and filled them with nuts, bolts etc. then just screw the jars back onto the caps and they hang right underneath the shelf,saving space and up-cycling the jars!

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