How To Recycle Kitchen Knives

When kitchen knives get old or if you get yourself a new set and find your old one obsolete, finding a new purpose for them can be pretty tough.

Whether you’re getting rid of them because you have a better set, they aren’t to your standards anymore, or they’ve been damaged, figuring out how is no easy task.

So if you’ve been wondering how to recycle kitchen knives or how to safely and legally get rid of them, you’ve come to the right place.

We take a look at the proper ways to dispose of old knives in this article, so read on to learn more.

Can I Recycle Kitchen Knives?

While it’s a relatively easy material to recycle, it might be best not to do that at home.

This is because the blades can still be dangerous even if they’ve gone dull, and recycling them yourself poses the risk of accidents.

So the best way is by dropping them off at a recycling center.

To do this, you first need to find the nearest one near you, but most metro areas will have one anyway.

After that, you have to determine what steel or material the knife is made out of, you can do this by researching the brand and model, or you can do the magnet test.

If you stick a magnet to the blade and it sticks, that means it’s a ferrous material, if it doesn’t, that means it’s not.

From there, the recycling center will be able to help you with figuring out the material.

Other Ways To Dispose Of Old Blades

If going to the recycling center is not an option for you, then there are a couple of other ways to get rid of kitchen knives safely.

Before doing any of these methods, you will first have to wrap your knives properly.

Do this by wrapping a couple of newspapers around the knife, making sure to cover the whole blade, fold a piece of cardboard over it and seal it with tape.

You can also label it as “sharp” with a marker to be extra safe.

Once you do that, you can use any one of these methods to get rid of your old kitchen cutlery.

1. Donation

If your old blades are still in working condition, meaning they are not chipped or broken, then you can call up your local thrift stores and ask if they accept knife donations.

Some stores will and some stores won’t, so you might have to make a couple of calls.

It might be best to sharpen the blades before donating them, too.

And if no stores accept donations, you can always give them to a friend or a local soup kitchen as they might have a lot of uses for the blades.

2. Reselling

If your knives are still in good condition and you want to make some money, you could also resell the knives.

The online market is full of buyers who might find your old knives useful, especially if they are high-quality blades that are undamaged.

And if you can’t find buyers online, you can also ask your local knife sharpening shop if they’re willing to buy your old blades.

3. Collection Bins

Collection bins are a convenient way to dispose of old tools, especially if your city has inaccessible locations.

This option isn’t for everyone, since not every city has bins where they can drop off old knives, but a quick google search for bins near you is the easiest way to check whether or not your city has them.

And if they do, the best thing to do is find the nearest one to you, wrap up the knives, and then drop them in the bin.

4. Waste Collection Sites & Regular Trash Pick Up

Some cities will allow you to dispose of your knives in the trash, and most will allow it if you wrap them properly.

But before doing this, it’s best to check with your local waste management facility what their policy is on old knives.

Make sure to wrap the blades and label them properly to avoid any complications or accidents.

If you can’t dispose of them in the trash, most cities will encourage you to bring the blades to waste collection sites.

This will ensure that the blades are handled safely.

And if that isn’t an option for you, you can also go to the nearest scrap metal shop.

The advantage of that is that you can even earn some money as some shops are willing to pay money for old knives that they can repurpose and recycle.


Disposing of old knives can be a confusing task, especially if you haven’t done it before.

But hopefully, this guide was able to show you all the disposal options you have available.

And if you found the right one for you that is convenient, accessible, and can fit in your schedule, then all that’s left to do is dispose of your knives, whether that be by sending them to a recycling center, or to a waste management facility where it will be handled safely and correctly.

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.