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Where to recycle pots and pans
Recycle

Where to recycle pots and pans

Here’s what to do with that old cookware cluttering your cabinets.

Pots and pans are supposed to last for a long time. But at a certain point, you may notice the bottom of your saucepan is all scratched up, or the coating on your frying pan is peeling off. Or maybe that paella pan just doesn’t fit in your kitchen anymore… Whatever the reason, you have several options for getting rid of old cookware responsibly and ethically.

Find another taker for your old pots and pans

If your cookware is in acceptable condition, your first and best option is to find someone else who will take it off your hands. Thrift stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, and Second Mile will take donations of gently used pots and pans. Many Philly-area nonprofits that provide services to homeless and refugee populations will take cookware donations — for example, Northern Children’s Services, The Nationalities Service Center, and UESF accept in-kind donations of lightly used, like-new pots and pans.

If you’re looking to make some cash, Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace may be good options for selling your cookware. You’d be surprised at how many dings and scratches buyers may overlook if the price is right! Another option is to use Freecycle, which helps you give items away for free to people in your area (and, of course, receive free items from others!). Or, the buy nothing project is always a great place to give to a neighbor.

Recycle your cookware

If you’re struggling to donate or sell your cookware, or if the condition is too poor to be reused, there are some recycling options available. First, you may be able to take your uncoated (teflon-free) pots and pans to scrap metal centers for recycling (see our guide to scrap metal recycling for more details). If your cookware has plastic or other materials attached, make sure to remove them or ask the recycling center for help before handing it over.

If you have nonstick, teflon-coated pans on your hands, don’t worry — you can still recycle them. Rabbit Recycling, a Philly-based, personalized recycling company, will take all pots and pans off your hands, including coated ones! You can request a bucket to be delivered to your home, fill it up with any items you want to recycle (it doesn’t just have to be cookware), and have it picked up once full. You’ll have to pay (their website currently lists $7 for a 5-gallon bucket and $16 for an 18-gallon container), but we’d say it’s worth the convenience.

Cover image courtesy of Pixabay

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Sophie Brous is an editorial intern at Green Philly. Born and raised in NYC, she now attends Haverford College, where she majors in linguistics. When she's not writing, she can be found exploring cities, making arts and crafts, and finding ways to live a greener lifestyle. View all posts by Sophie Brous

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