Recycle/craft tips for cans/syringes?

Hey everyone! I'm sick of throwing out my formula cans and plastic syringes because it's bad for the earth and seems like such a waste. I'm wondering if anyone has any ideas for how I could reuse them, and make them into something useful somehow. I already reuse the boxes the formula cans come in to completely sort and organize all my paperwork.

Granted, the cans do go to recycle, but if there's any use for them, even just for a few of them, that would be cool!

It's the syringes though that really bug me - all that plastic and rubber being thrown in the garbage... there must be SOMETHING I an do with them.

If you guys have things you already do with cans/syringes, let me know! Or if you just want to brainstorm ideas off the top of your head as you write, please go ahead! I want all the ideas possible...

Thanks so much everyone!

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I have the same 60cc from 1992~they do great in the dishwasher....and the fatty 10cc syringes with the offset center are too precious to chuck (you can push meds directly into the tube with that diameter tip.

I have plastic containers and cans~we have a strict recycle laws (we get warnings to end service if we trash the recycle stuff~the county get huges fines if they don't reduce trash year by year). I have no care to create from those sticky things~

The ice chest they send the cold meds (humira and growth hormone) I would love to reuse...and the ice packs inside. so far I just give them back to the driver and wonder if they just throw them out.

The plastic feeding bags and tubing~14 a week in the trash~that is concerning! I wonder if I could make something out of those~purse, book cover, rain coat, Lady GaGa wear?

Great question.

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I am imagining a necklace made out of 60 cc syringes as the new trend of the season :-)

or stick them on a hairband - instead of "bunny ears" - we'd have syringe ears....

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One idea for the syringes....
paint them and write a name on it(get names from the peds. floor) and send them to the childen to use as their own personal water gun!! Blake loved this as a young child....they can hide them in the bed and squirt the water out at the Dr. or nurse...all in fun and they are sooo happy to have "Shot" the Dr. or Nurse.
Paint them in childrens colors or even "teen" colors. They are reusable also to rinse after what ever you used them for to water potted plants...just the right amt. for hanging plants(that is what i do). There are endless possibilities when you get a chance to figure them out....also make GREAT turkey/chicken or meat pasters, holds great Bar-b-Q sauce. Great for putting Gravey on dishes

Just a few ideas to star with

Mom to Blake

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Great topic! I'm eager to hear the ideas!

I've been crocheting plastic newspaper sleeves and plastic grocery bags into ... plastic tote bags, laundry bags, purses. They look ... interesting... LOL (you love 'em as I do or you hate 'em) This MIGHT work with the tpn bags -- I'll try and let you know. The tubing might work similarly.

I have been thinking about a way to make sturdy ropes for swings out of the tubing. Braid? Plyed? Maybe new clean swing seats out of the bag plastic? I want it to look nice, so it will need some practice. Let me know if anyone has ideas.

Saw a news article about a man who shingled the outside walls of his house with soda cans that he smashed flat. I haven't gotten to see it, but i think I might like to do something like that on a big piece of plywood if not directly on a wall.

Years ago, some people used empty glass bottles (think beer and wine) for walls. Cement with bottle on their sides. I think it was supposed to be good insulation, but can't understand why that would help with heat/cooling except that the walls would be thick and thickness helps. I think the open ends of the bottles were covered with cement so critters couldn't get in.

I've been saving those clever strips that divide the tpn bags (so the lipid is separate until time to use). Surely there is something to do with them, but haven't figured it out yet.


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I used to use the catheter-tip syringes that I had to use to irrigate my mitrofanoff urinary diversion for soapmaking. They are great if you need a certain amount of liquid glycerin or fragrance for large batches of soap, but don't want the mess of using a measuring cup or spoon. They are also good for transfering a bit of melted soap base to another mold (especially if you are making one or two bars of soap for a friend).

The homemade squirt gun idea is good too!

Don't know what to do with the cans as far as reusing them. I just throw them out. I do use the boxes they come in for crafts and stuff. My pastor even likes these boxes to keep her church stuff in, so its not moving around in the back seat of her van.


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love the squirt gun idea! our syringes are only 10 ml -- is that big enough? what sort of paint sticks to them?

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My dog HATES to take pills. We tried every trick we heard of. Then we found that a little squirt of water from a syringe right after the pill will make her swallow! So I keep several of my daughter's syringes for that use, and donate others to the local Humane Society. They can be also be used for liquid meds by the animals, as they have only been used for sterile purposes on my daughter's Central Line, and only had normal saline in them to begine with, so they are not contaminated in any way, just not re-usable for sterile purposes.
If being used by children for water squirting or painting, please remember to advise the children that although these syringes are safe for them to use, they must NEVER touch a syringe they may see on the ground or anywhere they are playing. As we all know, such syringes can be significant risks in many ways. LindaRose

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We get 2 of the large styrofoam ice chests and 12 freezer packs every week. The driver will not take them back, and right now, I have 8 of them in the house. I am SICK of them. I pitched a box of the separator strips from Brigid's tpn bags yesterday...


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Our tpn comes in cardboard boxes lined with 1" thick slabs of styrofoam. That makes 12 slabs of styrofoam/week plus at least 6 (usually more) cold packs.

I have recycled a lot via online Freecycle. Some uses for styrofoam -- use underneath boxes to keep stuff dry on damp cellar floors; a wall mosaic that might help soundproof.

Yesterday I took a stack of slabs taller than I to local elementary school art teacher -- not sure what she is going to do with them, but she wants more!

And the school nurse wants all the cold packs I get! She says she'll share with other nurses if she gets too many.


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I went to the food bank yesterday and they will take all our coolers and ice packs - to give to families taking perishables long distances. Glad I found somewhere for them.

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I also hate the waste and disposal of so much plastic. Unfortuantely our local government does't have a recycle plan. I think the tubing that the 60 cc syringes come in makes a great rocket for children to p lay with. And it makes a good cheerios/dry snack container. the only catch is that once the seal is broken, the lid doesn't stay on well so may need to be taped on one side. I have just used them with individuals, but possibly preschools and any place whre little ones gather would like to have the tubes.

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I use the boxes for newspaper and other paper recycling and for moving and storage boxes. I recycle the cans.

I get 60 cc syringes and I just wash them. They are non-sterile when they arive so I just keep them clean. I have to say if I am travelling, I will reuse a syringe a couple of times between cleanning without any problem.

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A lot of people have mentioned washing out the syringes and reusing them for various things such as squirt guns... but I use the syringes until the rubber stopper on the plunger refuses to slide anymore. It becomes so hard to push the plunger down that it's a good arm exercise! And eventually they become so non-sliding that when I try to pull the plunger back up, the rubber stopper becomes so stuck that it pops right off the plunger and becomes stuck inside the syringe!
What are you guys doing to keep the rubber stoppers on the plungers sliding smoothly???

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plungers~never have used them~I use the 60cc like a cup and just pour in (and hold and pour, hold and pour~why I want something other than a 60cc to pour into).

but for my sweet off center 12ml syringes I use those little packs of non dissolving lubs (I ask for them in GI clinic, to help on tube changes and to recoat rubber plunger (mineral oil was my biggest mistake).

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