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Cookware Recycling – How to recycle your used pots and pans


We’d love cookware to last forever. Scratch-and-spot-free nonstick surfaces, sparkling enamel coatings and dazzling aluminum and stainless steel always look good on the stovetop, table and countertop.

But despite our best efforts, daily use and abuse takes its toll on the aesthetics of our beloved pots and pans.

Most pots and pans are made of metal and are therefore recyclable. However, most curbside recycling programs won’t accept them. Luckily, there are a few environmentally-friendly ways to dispose of cookware that doesn’t look as great as it used to.

Here are a few ways to recycle your cookware:

  1. Contact your local scrap metal recycling facility by visiting and typing in “scrap metal” near the name of your closest city.

Call the recycling center first and let them know if you have either ferrous or nonferrous metal pots and pans (ferrous metals attract magnets; nonferrous do not). Also, let them know if your pans are coated in non-stick finishes.

Before non-stick pots and pans can be recycled, their nonstick coating must be removed. Finding a recycler willing to do this might be a little challenging, but not impossible.

  1. Donate useable cookware to friends, family, a local charity,Goodwill, the Salvation Army or list them on
  1. Give pots and pans a new life by turning them into something useful for the house, like a decorative planter, storage container or table centerpiece.

Check out our Cookware Recycling board on Pinterest for a few DIY project ideas.

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