Can You Recycle Knives

How to Safely Recycle Knives: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you have some old knives, then you may wonder whether you are going to be able to recycle them or not. Thankfully, we have all the answers that you need on this page!

Yes, knives can be recycled. You must take them to your local recycling center and drop them off. Please don’t put any sharp objects into a recycling bin as they can injure the people that come to collect them.

Can You Recycle Knives?

You absolutely can. It is probably much simpler to recycle your knives than you think.

If you head to your local recycling center, they can take the knives from you and put them in with the metal recycling.

The knives added to the metal recycling will be melted down and reused in any project requiring metal. Honestly, knives (and other metals) are among the easiest things to recycle so you won’t have any problems.

It is important to remember that knives can still be recycled, even if they have a plastic or wooden handle. We will discuss more in the next section.

Where Do You Recycle Knives?

You will not be able to leave your knives by the side of the road. As far as we know, no place in the United States will collect metal curbside. This is because metal is so infrequently recycled that this wouldn’t make sense.

Even if there were places that had a service like this, we absolutely would not recommend that you leave your knives by the side of the road. We are 100% positive that you can see how dangerous this is.

Instead, you will need to head to your local recycling center. Almost every single recycling center or town dump will accept metal for recycling.

However, you mustn’t just put the knives into the big containers for mixed metal. Well, at least not if the blade has a bit of plastic for the handle. Purely metal knives can be added to mixed metal recycling with no problems.

Reusing old Knives

If you have knives with plastic or wooden handle, inform one of the staff members. They will likely ask you to hand them over.

This will allow them to do a small amount of extra processing before the knives are recycled. This will typically involve them cutting the handle off with some tools. This will allow them to reclaim the two different components of the blade.

Does Goodwill Accept Old Kitchen Knives?

Goodwill accepts old kitchen knives making it a great way to get rid of your old blades and pass some savings on to someone that may need a little help. They don’t accept anything other than kitchen knives, so don’t try to bring hunting or fishing knives to Goodwill.

How Do You Prepare Knives for Recycling?

It is dead simple to prepare knives for recycling.

It would be best if you wrapped the knife up in either cardboard or paper. This will make the knives a little bit safer to handle. Remember, even if the blade has dulled a little bit, it will still be dangerous.

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If you are adding the knife straight into mixed metal recycling (i.e., the handle is made from metal), then make sure to remove the protective paper or card first. It is going to make everybody’s job a little easier like that.

If you are handing the knives to one of the staff members, leave the protection on it. Just make sure that they know that there are knives there. This way, they can deal with them properly and safely!

Can You Put Knives in the Trash?

It depends. There are a few places in the United States where it is illegal to add knives to the standard trash. This is for safety reasons.

Honestly, even if it were not illegal where you are located, we still wouldn’t recommend it. As we said before, metal is one of the most accessible items to recycle, so why wouldn’t you if you can recycle it?

It would be best to remember that putting knives in the trash will send that knife to the nearest landfill. Landfills are awful for the environment.

Remember, that metal is going to be breaking down in the ground. It may leak a few chemicals if it has a plastic handle. This means that it will forever be taking up space, and it may end up causing damage to the land and the local water supplies. It isn’t a good thing.

Since knives can be recycled, you should do that. The world is always going to have a demand for more metal.

It is a lot easier and less resource-intensive to recycle metal and produce new items from that as opposed to sourcing contemporary metals. This is one of the biggest polluting industries on this planet, so we need to do everything we can to keep that pollution down to the absolute minimum.

You may think that one knife doesn’t matter in the grand scheme. This is true. It probably won’t.

However, remember, if everybody had that thought, you would end up with millions of knives not being recycled. That is a significant issue.

Are There Other Ways to Recycle Knives?

If you have a local scrap metal dealer in your area, they may accept knives. They will not be recycled similarly to a recycling center, though.

Instead, the scrap metal dealer will probably try to get them functioning as knives again or at least repurpose them somehow.

However, remember that scrap metal dealers will probably only accept higher-quality knives. They probably won’t get something that costs a couple of dollars.

Almost every single charity store in the United States will also accept knives. They sell incredibly well, as people always look for knives. Please ensure the blades are protected with paper or cardboard as you hand them over.


Knives can be recycled, and since they are made of metal, they are among the most commonly recycled items on the planet. It would be best if you headed to your local recycling center, and they will do the hard work for you. Avoid throwing old knives in the trash and not putting them in a curbside recycling bin.

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