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How to Dispose of Old Knives Properly

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If you’ve ever wondered how to dispose of old knives properly but couldn’t come up with a solution you’re satisfied with, then this article is for you. Getting rid of your old kitchen knives can be done in several ways. It varies depending on the condition of your knives and your personal goals.

This article will cover all the available disposal options and guide you to the best path. That way, you can live freely without regretting your life choices once everything is said and done.

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How to dispose of knives

There are various ways to safely dispose of old kitchen knives, the most common being a typical trash pickup. Other popular ways of properly disposing kitchen knives include handing them in at a recycling center, exchanging them at a scrap metal yard, or donating them to charitable organizations.

Whatever method you choose, you must ensure your knives are in the appropriate condition for that particular disposal route.


Trash pickup

As you would expect, most people simply throw their knives away with the rest of their trash. If your knives are damaged beyond repair due to wear and tear, then, by all means, send them to the dumpsters! Don’t get too excited, though, because knives are sharp objects that need to be disposed of carefully to avoid harm to yourself and others.


Wrapped knives

A common issue when casually throwing away an old knife is that it often still has a sharp edge that pierces through your garbage bag. Of course, you can imagine what happens next. So, let’s just say the bag might have a little motion sickness if you know what I mean.

To avoid accidents, you should wrap up your knife blade in a protective layering such as bubble wrap.

Other ways you can wrap up your used knives include using a newspaper. This is often the easiest and most cost-efficient way. However, remember that you should use plenty of layers if you go down the newspaper route. Otherwise, your wrapping may face the same fate as your garbage bag.

Using cardboard is a less common but equally convenient way of getting your knives. Scavenge through your home and garage for an unwanted cardboard box and cut it up into separate sheets. You can also reach out to a relative or friend and offer to dispose of their cardboard for them.

Fold a sheet of cardboard around the blade’s sharp edges and use tape to secure it in place. You may also want to write a safety message such as “SHARP OBJECT” on the wrapping. That way, you’ll alert bin collectors and sanitation workers of the potential danger when handling the item.

This can also help any household members living with you who may stumble across your wrapped knives to stay safe and out of harm’s way. Cardboard is undoubtedly among the safest options for keeping your knives’ blades at bay.

In addition, if you have some old clothes to throw away with your old knives, you can use them as an alternative. However, since clothes are not as durable as cardboard or bubble wrap, you should ensure the knife’s handle is visible after wrapping when using old clothes. This is so others can know of the dangerous object concealed within.


Other options

Perhaps you find yourself running out of bin space or would rather not run the risk of having sharp knives in there. Or perhaps your particular suburb or council area doesn’t allow you to place knives in regular pickup bins for curbside collection.

In this case, you will need to seek out a waste collection site and hand in your knives according to their acceptance guidelines. Also, may have to pay a small fee (though they’re usually free).

Other ways to toss your knives away for good include collection drop-off bins explicitly made for old knives. You can find them through a quick Google search and locate those nearest to you.

The great thing about this method of disposal is you don’t need to wrap your knives when putting them into the collection box. So, your bubble wrap can live to fight another day!

On a final note regarding throwing away your knives, I would recommend only taking this route if recycling, reselling, or donating are not options for you.

In truth, many knives people throw away are still in good condition to be resold for money or recycled for the environment’s sake. But, of course, many people are aware of these options but cannot be bothered by the process. Even if you are one of those people, that’s completely fine. I won’t judge.



How to Dispose of Old Knives Properly

Typically, if you plan to get rid of the knives, chances are they aren’t worth much in terms of monetary value. Fortunately, the second best thing you can do is recycle knives.

Remember that knife recycling is not as simple as recycling a plastic water bottle. Typically because of the blade’s danger to surrounding objects and people.

While you can throw your old knives in the trash (provided they’re nicely wrapped), the same cannot be said for the recycle bin. This is because kitchen knives are typically not considered recyclable items. Instead, those bins are part of a process line that handles plastics, cardboards, and select metal materials.

Thus, you will need to seek out nearby recycling centers to dispose of your knives in this manner properly.

Usually, any of the wrapping methods described previously would be sufficient when recycling your knives as well. However, some recycling centers may have guidelines on how they accept knives. So, investigate their instructions in person or by searching for their online presence.

More often than not, wrapping the blade of your knife in cardboard or bubble wrap should get you through the door. It’ll be rare to find a center with stricter measures than that.

The benefits of recycling your knives are just as wholesome as recycling anything! The stainless steel blade can be broken down and rebuilt in a new form. The plastic or wooden handles can embrace a similar future.

Overall, the environment will thank you for your efforts in recycling. Anyone who strives to reduce their carbon footprint should delight in this opportunity.



In the best-case scenario, your knives will be in favorable condition when you decide to part ways with them. In this case, you have the option of reselling them to a variety of entities. If you find yourself in this position, here are a few things you can do to maximize your monetary returns for the best bang for your buck!

Consider whether your knife or knives are broken or scratched up. If so, the best selling strategy would be to hand them over to a scrap metal yard. As its name suggests, these entities exist to take in any metal materials, including carbon steel or stainless steel scrap metal pieces.

In return, you will be given a money refund according to the value assessment of that specific scrap metal yard.

The great thing about these yards is that they work directly with organizations that produce new metal products from old scraps. As such, you won’t need to worry about your knives falling into the wrong hands.

In a way, it’s like you are reselling and recycling your kitchen knives simultaneously. You can collect a few easy bucks while doing a solid for the environment.



Lastly, and perhaps the noblest choice, is to donate your kitchen knives to a charity organization or equivalent entity. For example, if they are in decent condition, you may find a local soup kitchen that accepts used kitchen knives. You can also donate kitchen knives to secondhand stores or local shelters willing to accept knives as a form of charity.

In my experience, I’ve donated plenty of used items, including kitchenware, to my local Salvation Army (1). I’ve found this to be the easiest form of disposing of miscellaneous items.

Soup kitchens, in particular, may find great value in your old kitchen utensils. These items play a core part in their daily operations of preparing meals. A nice gesture I’d recommend is sharpening the blade’s tip beforehand.

An often overlooked way of disposing of your old kitchen knives is handing them to a local police station. This may sound strange at first, but you’d be surprised at how many of them will accept your knives.

All you need to do is ring up your nearest police station and ask if they will take in your knives. Just make sure you’ve securely wrapped them when you hand them in!


How to dispose of old knives properly FAQ

If parts of your knives have become chipped or broken, it’s time to get rid of them since they could end up causing you more damage than good. Here are the most commonly asked questions about throwing away old knives.


Can you throw knives away?

The short answer is yes, but the more full answer is that it depends on how you throw your knife away and your local laws. Typically, if you have your knives safely wrapped up, there should be no problem disposing of them in your pickup bin. Just make sure your local council allows it.


Do kitchen knives go in recycling?

No, you cannot recycle your kitchen knives through your own recycle bin. Instead, you must seek out a recycling center or a scrap metal yard to legally and safely recycle your old knives.


Can I throw knives in the garbage?

If your local city council allows it and you wrap up your knives in a protective material, you can throw them in the garbage.


How do you dispose of old kitchen knives?

There are several ways of disposing of old kitchen knives. The most common ones are trash pickup, recycling centers, or resale. In most cases, you should wrap your knives in bubble wrap or cardboard for a safe exchange or disposal.


Can you throw kitchen knives?

You can throw kitchen knives away if they are appropriately wrapped and do not threaten the surrounding environment.


Are old knives recyclable?

Depending on the knife’s condition, it might be able to be recycled at participating centers. However, you cannot recycle knives through your recycling bin. Therefore, you will likely receive a warning and a possible fine for doing so (depending on your residence).


Can old knives be recycled?

Absolutely. Simply head to your local recycling center to get rid of your old kitchen knives as needed. Alternatively, you can find a metal scrap yard that will take in your knife blades for some cash.


Can knives go in the bin?

Legally, it is okay to dispose of your knives in the bin, but I recommend wrapping them first to avoid any accidents.

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