Old Dishes Are Not Recyclable — Here’s How to Get Rid Them


At some point in time, we all end up with dishes and glassware we don’t need. Some things break, others get lost, people move and needs change. Whether they’re family hand-me-downs or an incomplete set, here’s what you can do with unwanted dishes:

Toss all broken items. If dishes are broken, or have bad chips, cracks or stains, toss them. Wrap any sharp edges or pieces in newspaper, place them in a plastic bag, label them as “broken glass,” and throw them away. Broken glass is never recyclable because it’s a hazard for sanitation workers to handle it.

Glassware and Pyrex can be donated. Glassware and Pyrex are not recyclable through our One Big Bin program. They have different melting points than regular glass jars and bottles, and they can contaminate an entire batch of recycled glass. Donate any items that are reusable.

Ceramic items can be donated. Ceramic items cannot be recycled through our One Big Bin program, though sometimes facilities that recycle bricks and concrete will recycle ceramics. If your ceramic dishes are reusable, donate them!

Vintage china can often be sold. Try selling your china to an organization such as International Association of Dinnerware Matchers or Replacements, Ltd.

Upcycle! There are dozens of ways to upcycle old dishes. Check out Pinterest for inspiration.