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Because You Asked

How Do I Recycle Prescription Eyeglasses?

By Recyclebank |

Recycling your eyeglasses could give sight to someone in need.

Dear Recyclebank,

How do I recycle prescription glasses?

-Veronica S.


Dear Veronica,

Because eyeglasses are made of a mix of materials that aren’t easily separated, they are not typically recycled by being broken down and remade into new products. Instead, they are recycled through reuse. There are several organizations out there that accept unwanted eyeglasses for redistribution or reselling. The eyeglasses are collected and sent to a sorting center, where employees or volunteers process them. Workers remove unusable frames, determine the power of the lenses, and label them accordingly.

Nonprofit organizations like Lions Club International collect eyeglasses by mail or drop-off. While recycling old eyeglasses may not be the most cost effective option, it does reduce demand for virgin resources used in manufacturing new glasses. Plus, there’s practically nowhere else for unwanted eyeglasses to go, other than a landfill. As long as the glasses are in good shape, you might as well pass them along to someone else.


How do you dispose of your unwanted eyeglasses? Tell us in the comments below.

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  • Alberta S. 4 months ago
    I've never recycled glasses before but have 2 pair I no longer need and want to donate instead of throwing away. This article gave some good options.
  • DIANE L. 4 months ago
    By donating
  • Denise K. 5 months ago
    I also recycle eye glasses with the Lions Club drop box. I recently donated five pair of eyeglasses my father no longer wears. It’s very convenient!
  • Pat M. 6 months ago
    The Lions Club had a drop box in my area.
  • Barbara W. 6 months ago
    I give my old glasses to The Lions club, they see to it that low income people get them or new ones.
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