Must Exhaust All Possibilities Before Resorting to Trash
November 10, 2018 1:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm spoiled by living in Seattle where I can recycle or compost a lot of stuff, but every so often I come up with an item that stumps me. I have a lot of old pinback buttons (campaign buttons). A lot. And while the city says to just throw them in the garbage, I would really like to find an alternative. I'm happy to mail them to a facility that accepts them, but I can't find one. Does anyone if there is a company or organization that will take them and recycle them? I'm also happy to donate to a place that would upcycle them.
posted by brookeb to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First thing I would try is freecycle or maybe craigslist (free) to see if it catches anyone's fancy.
posted by metahawk at 1:07 PM on November 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Maybe Seattle Recreative would want them.
posted by moonmilk at 1:19 PM on November 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Perhaps contact the American Political Items Collectors association and ask for suggestions?
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 1:21 PM on November 10, 2018

What about thrift stores and flea markets? Flea markets always seem to have old campaign buttons.
posted by Delia at 1:21 PM on November 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

Check with a local Maker Space or place that does crafts with kids (eg after school art program) to see if they're interested in reusing them. They can be painted over/decoupaged over.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:23 PM on November 10, 2018 [3 favorites]

Tinkertopia in Tacoma is pretty awesome. I’d bet they can make use of them.
posted by MexicanYenta at 2:23 PM on November 10, 2018 [2 favorites]

I’d eBay them as a lot. Someone will want them, for sure.
posted by Slinga at 3:16 PM on November 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

The city is telling you to put them in the garbage because they are made out of steel. At the trash plant, a large magnet will separate out all the ferromagnetic waste which will then be sold as scrap and very efficiently recycled into new iron and steel products. This has been the fate of metallic trash for over a century.
posted by drdanger at 5:42 PM on November 10, 2018 [5 favorites]

Since they are political, especially if they have local relevance, you could try contacting the Washington State Library to see if they would be interested in adding them to a local history or ephemera collection.
posted by Athanassiel at 7:05 PM on November 10, 2018 [1 favorite]

The search keyword for what you’re looking for is “creative reuse” center. It looks like Seattle Recreative above is one such option.
posted by jeoc at 5:53 AM on November 11, 2018

Art Salvage in Spokane would also probably happily take them.
posted by purple_bird at 8:58 AM on November 12, 2018

If they are from a national presidential campaign, I'd suggest donated them to a Presidential library. A while ago, I attended a speech by George McGovern, who was promoting his book about Lincoln, at the Nixon library. They had a lot of campaign buttons and bumper stickers for sale there. I ended up picking up a union members for McGovern bumper sticker.

If they are from a local campaign, I'll try donating them to a local historical Society.
posted by LeftMyHeartInSanFrancisco at 5:00 AM on November 17, 2018

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