Dear Recyclebank: Can you recycle metal file cabinets? I don’t want to throw them out if they can be recycled. –Megan H.
Dear Megan: Metal file cabinets can be recycled, but they’re too big for you to just put on the curb with your recycling bin, and most haulers won’t take them.
Instead, recycle metal file cabinets and other large metal items such as appliances or desks via a scrap recycler.
You can look for one near you on the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. website — chances are, they’ll even pay you for your trouble! We called an Atlanta-area recycler, Davis Recycling, and learned their current rate for metal was 4 cents a pound. For a 4-drawer filing cabinet, that would net you around $5 or $6. A drop-off recycling center might also accept large metal items, be sure to call first or check their list of accepted materials online.
Steel, which is what most file cabinets are made of, is one of the most recycled materials in the world, and thankfully its qualities and durability don’t break down during the recycling process.
Even better: Find it a new home.
While it might be tempting to pocket a few bucks while freeing up some space in your office, it’s even more environmentally responsible to find someone who could use your unwanted steel file cabinet in its current form. Here are some ideas:
1. Advertise it for sale or free in your local buy-sell group.
2. Donate it to a local nonprofit office.
Donate, sell, or recycle … any one of these choices is a smarter and more sustainable one than sending good quality metal to the landfill.