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5 Ways to Recycle Eyeglasses

Written by Trish Smith .

I wanted to see what eyeglass recycling options were out there for the absent-minded folks like me, so here are 5 ways that you can finally get rid of those outdated eyeglasses!

Check out these 5 great ways to reuse and recycle those eyeglasses you’ve kept for way too long!

I don’t know about you, but I’m one of the millions of people in the world that has worn eyeglasses since youth. I think it was genetic for me since everyone in my family has horrible eyesight, but I’m also guessing that those many mornings watching cartoons in front of the TV didn’t help my sight either.

I’ve owned at least 10 different pairs of eyeglasses in my lifetime, ranging from my first gigantor big pink plastic pair, to my current wanna-be hipster big brown plastic pair. Sadly, since I’m a packrat, I still have my last 4 pair of glasses. I know that many eyeglass locations recycle your old glasses, but I always seem to forget to bring my old pair when the new ones come in. So I wanted to see what other eyeglass recycling options were out there for the absent-minded folks like me.

Here are 5 ways that you can finally get rid of those outdated eyeglasses!

1. Search online for a recycling center has a great search engine for recyclables on its website. Click on the above image and type in the type of item you’d like to recycle, as well as your zip code. A list of recycling facilities will come up, and you can find a location that’s convenient for you.

2. Lions Club International

Ever heard of the Lions Club International? If not, here’s a brief and musically enhanced intro to the charitable worldwide service organization.

In 2009 the Lions Club collected almost 700,000 pairs of glasses to donate to developing nations with its program Lions Recycle for Sight.

3. New Eyes for the Needy

Founded in 1932, New Eyes for the Needy is a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to provide good eyesight to the less fortunate.

4. Third World Eye Care Society Canada

Here’s the mission of the Canada-based charity organization TWECS: “To collect old unused eyeglasses and distribute these eyeglasses in conjunction with eye exams given by properly trained individuals. The distribution of eyeglasses shall be in developing countries where, because of poverty or lack of availability of eye care services, individuals are unable to obtain eyeglasses and primary eye care.”

5. Make ART!

If you just can’t get rid of your old eyeglasses for some weird sentimental reason, then you can always convert them into a creative piece of art. Take for example the recycled eyeglass Spectacle chandelier of London designer Stuart Haygarth. It was made from over 1000 old eyeglasses that were linked together!

Now that you know what to do with your old eyeglasses, take a deep breath, grab them from your drawer or from that box in your closet, and recycle them for a good cause!

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  • Vanessa H. 9 months ago
    So many good suggestions here, both in the article and the comments! :) Our public library has Lions' Club boxes available to accept donations. Very convenient!
  • Barbara C. 9 months ago
    If you get metal frames, instead of the ugly plastic ones that break and crack in the wintertime, you can just order new lenses when you need a new prescription. It's also good to have a couple extra pairs of your last prescription, because you can keep the spare pair in your car's glove compartment, and one at your desk at work, in case your current pair gets broken.
  • Meg P. 9 months ago
    always give my old ones to Vision Center when I get new lens.
  • A B. 9 months ago
    I have a drawer of old glasses from my daughters childhood. I've kept them for some reason
  • Gina L. 9 months ago
    Luckily I have a friend who is Lions' Club member. I even bring in readers, sunglasses and found glasses from where I work (after a period of time). This club is the best.
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