Disposing a mirror is not an everyday task, but when you need to do it, you should do it with the utmost care and attention to detail – especially if it is broken.
A mirror is a valuable material at home for viewing and inspecting your looks before setting out for work and other occasions. It is also inseparable from businesses like barbershops and beauty shops.
However, they can be as good as a liability when they crack or break, and you should dispose of them. Read on to find the best ways to do that without causing environmental hazards.
Ways To Safely Dispose Of Mirrors
Old mirrors – broken or not – are dangerous to keep at home, except if they are in use. Broken mirrors can easily injure you, your children, or pets and maybe even expose you to contaminations from the injury.
While mirrors may be less dangerous, they can break by accident and will pose the same threat to you and your family. Therefore, you need to dispose of old and broken mirrors safely to keep safe. Let’s see how to do this; we’ll begin with how to dispose of a whole mirror.
How To Dispose of Whole Mirrors
Again, it is not always safe to keep a mirror at home if you are not using it; even though it is whole, it can break by accident, causing environmental hazards. So, how should you dispose of it?
Let’s find out!
See Also: How to dispose of mercury thermometers
If you must dispose of a whole mirror, one of the best options you can consider is repurposing it. You will be surprised at the number of things you can do with your old mirror; so far, it’s not broken, and some of them may excite you. Here are some ways to repurpose your old mirror:
Use For Decoration
You can use your old mirror for decorating your home without stress, and all you need to do is frame it and place it strategically in your house. You can hang a framed mirror in the hallway, living room, or dining table.
You can also incorporate mirrors in your kitchen by placing them on the wall or making mirrored kitchen cabinets.
Repurpose As A Storage Box
Another way to repurpose your old mirror is to repurpose it as a storage box. The idea is a great one that will help you to keep various household items like remotes, pens, or matches from lying around.
To form a box, you may need creativity in measuring, cutting, and gluing the mirror together.
There are other ideas for repurposing your old mirror; you can click here to find some of them or check online forums for more options.
If your mirror is still in good condition, you can donate it to others who may need it. Therefore, consider giving the mirror to people around you – friends or family – instead of throwing it away.
Contact thrift stores, schools/universities, or any local artisans and inquire if they accept mirror donations, and they may be willing to take it off your hands. You can also donate old mirrors to a museum.
When donating a mirror, clean it and wrap it in a blanket.
One way to dispose of a reusable while mirror is to sell it. It is a better alternative if you cannot find a center to donate it, and you can make some money from the sale.
You can sell it online on platforms like eBay or Facebook or take it to an antique store. However, it is essential to check for the pricing of mirrors so you can set a price slightly higher or lower than the average pricing.
Also, here are some mistakes to avoid while selling a mirror online.
Waste Management Agencies
Lastly, you can dispose of your large piece of mirror with waste management agencies if none of the options above is appealing to you. The only challenge here is that not every waste management agency takes mirrors since it is not recyclable.
Therefore, you need to make a few calls to find one that can take it. When you do, tape the edges to the whole mirror and label it to show that you want to dispose of it. Inquire about the pick-up time from the waste management company and place the mirror close to your regular household trash.
The waste management company will pick it up, and you can be sure it is safe instead of keeping it at home as a risk.
You can also break the large mirror into smaller pieces and dispose of them with the methods of disposing of broken mirrors. You will learn how to do this in a later section.
How To Dispose of Broken Mirrors
You can liken the process of disposing of mirrors to disposing of Glass – whether they are broken or whole. It is dangerous to dispose of broken mirrors carelessly, and the first step in disposing of them is to collect the broken pieces and clean the surface where the mirror broke. You can also break a large mirror into smaller pieces before disposing it.
Let’s see the different ways you can dispose of broken mirrors before discussing the tips to break large mirrors and clean up the pieces before their disposal.
Ways To Dispose Of Broken Mirrors
It is a best practice always to clean up the area where your mirror breaks before disposing of them (you will learn the tips for breaking large mirrors and cleaning up in the next section). After the cleanup, you can dispose of the mirror in the following ways:
Do you know you can repurpose broken mirrors? Of course, you may expect a guide on getting rid of your broken mirror at this stage, but before then, you can consider making decorations with them.
You can build wall art, decorate old furniture, make a garden gate, make a garden mosaic gazing ball, decorate a lampstand, etc. You can find several decorative ideas from broken mirrors.
Reusing broken mirrors may sound weird, but it shouldn’t because you can reuse them. If only a part of your large piece of mirror breaks, you can cut it into a new shape, frame it, and reuse it as new, probably in a location in the house that requires a smaller mirror than its original size.
Reusing your mirror is excellent because you may not need to replace it. Instead, you only have to make a little tweak and place it back in place.
Use Waste Management Companies
You can dispose of broken mirrors like whole mirrors with waste management companies. The only difference is that you need to take more precautions to avoid injury to yourself and others around you.
Whether you are breaking a large mirror into smaller pieces or disposing of broken mirrors themselves, you can seal them up in a trash bag and place the bag beside your regular household waste.
You will learn the tips to safely break a mirror and prepare broken mirrors for disposal below, but you should label broken mirrors’ trash bags to alert people of their content.
Tips To Break Large Mirrors
- Wear protective equipment like leather gloves and protective eyeglasses, toe-covering shoes, full-sleeved shirts, and full-length pants.
- Place the large piece of mirror on a piece of cardboard outside your home. It is best to use a piece of cardboard larger than the Glass you want to break.
- Keep children and pets away from the environment.
- Wind the mirror with duct tape to minimize the risk of having it scattered around. You can place the duct tape horizontally and vertically over the mirror and use a thick layer of masking tape if you do not have access to duct tape.
- You can also cover the piece of Glass with a blanket or multiple towels instead. But, you will have to dispose of the blanket or towel with the broken pieces. Therefore, it is best to use a blanket you no longer need.
- Cover the mirror with another cardboard if you do not have an old blanket or towel to use.
- Ensure every part of the mirror is covered so you can easily collect the pieces after breaking them.
- Gently hit the mirror with a sledgehammer to break it. While breaking it, you should hear cracking sounds, but you may need to hit it a little harder if you cannot hear it.
- Remove the top cardboard paper or unfold the blanket/towel if you used one. You should be careful while doing this so the broken pieces of the mirror will not scatter around the area.
- Pick large pieces of the mirror and place them in a trash bag. You may need to cut the duct tape with a sharp knife.
- Pick the cardboard you placed on the floor. Gently collect the broken pieces in it and send them to the trash bag.
- Collect other smaller pieces of mirror on the floor with a shop vacuum.
- Wipe the surface with a damp towel.
- Dispose of the cardboard or blanket used.
- Label the trash bag appropriately.
You may also like to read our post on how to dispose of light bulbs