How to Dispose of Knives

Knives are perhaps one of the most dangerous items to have around. Though they can be helpful, especially in the kitchen, they are dangerous items to have and even more dangerous to dispose of. 

You must be careful so it doesn’t hurt you and/or get into the wrong hands. Knives are usually very sharp and can be a safety hazard if they are not discarded in the right way.

Knives do not last forever, even though they are made of steel. Eventually, you’ll need to replace it as a result of damage or long use. Below are safe ways to dispose of knives when the need arises.

What Are Some Safe Ways to Dispose of My Knives?

Image by Erin Cudlip

There are different ways you could choose to dispose of knives. You could consider recycling them, donating them, selling them, or outright disposing of them. Read on to learn the precise way to go about any option you choose.

1. Take Your Knives to a Knife Recycling Center

Recycling is a great option for the disposal of old things that we have no use for. Over the years, thanks to the increasing awareness about protecting the environment, the idea of recycling has become more pronounced. In fact, this area is fast becoming a vast industry.

As such, it’s necessary to know what you can recycle and what you can’t before going to that recycling center. So, if you’re wondering where your kitchen knife falls under, here’s what you need to know.

Check with your local recycling center or civic amenity site first that they can recycle the desired items. Most waste disposal sites include a skip for scrap metal, where you can take blunt knives and other sharp kitchen implements. If they do, which is typical, you can easily get it to them. They will recycle the knives and make them useful for other purposes.

Recycling your knives ensures the materials get reused. Start by wrapping up your old knives in pieces of newspaper and cardboard so the blades don’t pose any risk. Drop the knives off at the center so they get sorted and repurposed properly.

Earth911‘s vast recycling database allows you to search for local choices by providing your ZIP code and the item you want to recycle. You can call 800-CLEANUP for assistance from Earth911 as well.

2. Donate Kitchen Knives That Are Still in Fair Condition

When it comes to kitchen knife disposal, don’t overlook the possibility of donating knives that are still usable. One person’s trash is another person’s treasure, and that old adage definitely applies to cutlery.

Even if your knives are not in pristine condition, they could still be useful to someone else. In the right hands, restoration and sharpening could give new life to your old kitchen knife set. If you’re simply looking to replace your functional old knives with new ones, consider giving your knives to a charitable organization, if not someone you know personally.

This is because while it might be useless to you, it is useful to them. As such, if you love to give back to society, you can do that by donating your knives to these organizations. You don’t even need to go very far. You can check with your local charity to see if they accept knives.

So, check with the local shelters, second-hand stores, and soup kitchens to see if they are interested. You can even check your local Salvation Army or Goodwill Centers. They are usually interested in getting old knives.

Once you locate one, package the knife securely and transport it to the organization. This is to ensure that you don’t hurt anyone in the process of trying to give back to society.

Also, it’s best to label the box where you place the knives. This will enable those transporting and receiving to know what they are handling. This way, they can exercise the necessary level of care to avoid injuries. Remember, you don’t want to take any unnecessary risks when it comes to this donation.

It is also vital to clean the knives properly before sending them. You don’t want to send dirty knives to these organizations. This way, you are being sanitary and courteous; you can always go the extra mile and sharpen the knives too. You’ll be doing these guys a huge favor. 

An added benefit of donating your old or unwanted knives is that you can sometimes get a tax writeoff for the donation. Overall, donating your knives is one of the best ways to get rid of knives because it entails helping people and at the same time getting the blades off your hands to someone who will make good use of the knives you no longer need.

3. Earn Money While Disposing of Old Knives

This is a great option if the knives that you want to get rid of are in pretty good shape or are valuable. By selling the knives you don’t want anymore, not only do you get rid of them, but you might end up with a little extra jingle in your pocket. 

There are just so many options for selling your knives that it is almost always worth trying out if the blade is in decent shape and is usable. For example, online blade auctions, eBay, Craigslist, and other online platforms are great, and you could even try local pawn shops and bladesmiths.

You probably won’t make a fortune from selling your unwanted knives, but it is better than just throwing them away, even if you can only get a few dollars for them.

You can also sell them as scrap metal. The good news is that metal is relevant for a wide range of uses without necessarily losing its quality. So, you can count on the availability of buyers. In fact, there’s a ready-made market when it comes to steel scrap. So, you won’t have trouble selling it off. However, you’ll need to have loads of them to make any real money off of them. Once you do, then you’re good to go.

Just look at what platforms and options there are for selling knives in your area and see if it is worth your time to try and sell your unwanted knives. In some cases, it is just not worth the time investment to sell your knives, and you are better off just donating them or recycling them. Look at your situation and make the best decision on what route to take.

A microwave oven is another kitchen item you can resell easily. You can learn how to do that from our guide on How to Dispose of Microwave.

4. Dump Knives in the Trash

If you absolutely need to throw away a knife, safety is of the utmost importance. Almost any type of knife has a very sharp blade, which could slice through most plastic bags. This can put anyone who handles knives that are in a plastic bag at risk of severe injury.

To minimize the threat of injury to yourself or anyone else, carefully follow the steps below when throwing away knives in the trash.

1. Wrap knife blades individually in multiple layers of newspaper or other large sheets of paper. Tape the paper around each blade to keep it from sliding off.

2. Cut out one flat section from a cardboard box that is at least twice as long as the blade of the longest knife you’re discarding. Fold the cardboard over the knives and use packing tape or duct tape to keep them from shifting.

3. Find a cardboard box large enough to hold the knives; place the wrapped knives inside the box, and seal the box with tape.

4. Write “SHARP” on the cardboard to let sanitation workers know they should be careful handling the container.

Safety Precautions For Knife Disposal

Knives are indispensable in your kitchen. Unfortunately, you’ll need to replace them at one point or another.

Basically, there are many reasons why you would want to get rid of a knife, and instead of holding on to it and letting it clutter up your house, there are many ways for you to donate it, sell it, or throw it away. It is really quite simple, as long as you take the necessary steps to cover the blade and properly dispose of it.

After you have decided what to do with the knives you no longer want, always remember to properly package and cover them for transportation or disposal. Almost any method will work just fine, as long as the blade is completely covered, so it can’t hurt anyone who comes in contact with it.

Broken glasses are other sharp objects that require utmost care when getting rid of them. Our guide on  How to Dispose of Glass will walk you through how to handle and dispose of them properly.

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