This post is part of an attempt to do something like 100 recycling tips for damn near anything in something close to, anyway, 100 days. We’ll see how that goes. When the 100 Recycling Tips are all published here on Easy Ways to Go Green, we’ll do a master list so that every link exists on one single page for everyone to be able to link over to, or to use as a reference guide when questions on how to recycle different things in your life inevitably come up.
How to Recycle 100 Common Things: #8 Old Cookware: Pots and Pans
Of the several problems involved with things around the kitchen like pots and pans, included among them are the fact that all the common metals used in the manufacturing process are mined from the earth and are nonrenewable resources. Aluminum, steel and iron can be potentially devastating in terms of their environmental impact, so recycling and reusing pots and pans is not only possible, it’s imperative.
A list of recycling options might begin with typical, clever methods of reusing the pots and pans: donating them to second hand stores, rest or nursing homes, schools or organizations like the Girl or Boy Scouts of America. Beyond that, trying things out like turning aged kitchenware into camping goods, or removing handles so that pots might be turned into water bowls for your pet dogs and cats, can all be useful means of recycling or reusing old pots and pans.
For standard recycling, again, make sure to check with your curbside recycling program to see if pots and pans are accepted. Some will, others won’t. You may be directed to a local scrap yard, where they are able to accept the steel and aluminum in the cookware — or perhaps if you know of a scrap yard, you might just be better off starting there. Being eco-conscious when it comes to cookware begins with purchasing eco-friendly cookware, including pots and pans that are not coated with teflon. Teflon-coated non-stick pots and pans require extra work (solvent recycling) in order to go through the recycling process, and not all recycling programs take them.
If the cookware is unusable, contact your municipal department of public works to ask about recycling.
Helpful Links on Recycling Old Pots and Pans, or Kitchen Cookware:
Check out the Freecycle Network.
Check out Recycle This UK for more info on recycling used kitchen cookware.
An article on Associated Content that talks about recycling and re-using pots and pans with a clever twist or two.
Information on Earth 911 on Calphalon recycling program and trading in your old cookware when you buy new ones.
Info from GreenYour on recycling pots and pans.