Can You Recycle Knives

Can You Recycle Knives? (How To Do It Safely)

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!

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Yes, knives can be recycled. You just need to take them to your local recycling center and drop them off. 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. In fact, it is probably much simpler to get your knives recycled than you make think.

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

The knives that have been added to the metal recycling will be melted down and reused in pretty much any project that requires metal. Honestly, knives (and other metals) are among the easiest things to recycle, so you really are not going to have any problems there.

It is important to remember that knives can still be recycled, even if they have a plastic or wooden handle. We will discuss more about that 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, there are no places in the United States that will collect metal curbside. This is because metal is so infrequently recycled that this wouldn’t really 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 just 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, it is important that you do not just put the knives into the big containers for mixed metal. Well, at least not if the knife has a bit of plastic for the handle. Purely metal knives can be added to the mixed metal recycling with no problems.

Reusing old Knives

If you have knives with either a plastic or wooden handle, then make sure that you 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 normally involve them cutting the handle off with some tools. This will allow them to recycle the two different components of the knife.

Does Goodwill Accept Old Kitchen Knives?

Goodwill accepts old kitchen knives making it a great way to get rid of your old knives and pass some saving 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.

You should wrap the knife up in either cardboard or paper. This will make the knives a little bit safer to handle. Remember, even if the knife has dulled a little bit, it is still going to be dangerous to handle.

If you are going to be adding the knife straight into mixed metal recycling (i.e., the handle is made from metal) then make sure that you 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 over 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 was not illegal where you are located, we still wouldn’t recommend it. As we said before, metal is one of the easiest items to recycle, so if you can recycle it, why wouldn’t you?

You have to remember that putting knives in the trash will send that knife on its way to the nearest landfill. Landfills are absolutely 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, though. 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 really isn’t a good thing.

Since knives can be recycled, you should do that. The world is going to always 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 new metals. This is one of the biggest polluting industries on this planet, so we really do need to do absolutely everything that we possibly can to keep that pollution down to the absolute minimum.

You may think that one knife isn’t going to matter in the grand scheme of things. 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 major issue.

Are There Other Ways to Recycle Knives?

If you have a local scrap metal dealer in your area, then they may accept knives. They will not be recycled in the same way as a recycling center, though.

Instead, the scrap metal dealer will probably try and get them functioning as knives again, or at least repurpose them in some way.

However, do bear in mind that scrap metal dealers will probably only accept the higher quality knives. They probably won’t accept something that cost a couple of dollars.

Almost every single charity store in the United States will also accept knives. They sell incredibly well as people are always on the lookout for knives. Just make sure that the knives 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. As you need to do is head to your local recycling center and they will do the hard work for you. Try to avoid throwing old knives in the trash and don’t put them in a curbside recycling bin.