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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 12 2013: Where is 'away' in throw away?

    Before the Industrial revolution there was no garbage that couldn't be composted.

    We must confront that modern civilization directly is responsible for many linear problems, in part because they are out of the natural cyclical loop of nature.

    As Gandhi once said, 'I'm afraid we are bartering away the permanent good for a temporary pleasure'. Perhaps the epithet of our modern world.

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