A good quality kitchen knife should serve you very well for many years. Once it’s finally bit the dust, however, you’ll need to find ways to get rid of it safely and securely. How can you trash or recycle your once-trusty tool? On this page, we’ll discuss how to dispose of kitchen knives. 

We’ll cover how to recycle a knife, how to throw one away, and how to keep everyone safe when doing so. We’ll also discuss a few things that are worth keeping in mind once your knife starts showing signs of age. 

Things to Consider When Disposing of Kitchen Knives 

Before discussing how to dispose of kitchen knives, it’s worth touching on what you’ll need to keep in mind when getting rid of them. None of this is rocket science, but it can pay to get clued up before accidentally hurting yourself or damaging someone’s property.

Safety

Safety should be a top priority when disposing of a kitchen knife. Even an older chef’s knife can still have a surprisingly sharp tip and blade. Any disposal method you use should effectively eliminate the dangers presented by its edge. 

We cover some easy ways to do this further down this page. 

The Environment

When getting rid of your kitchen knives, it’s important to keep the environment in mind. A depressing amount of waste goes to landfills every year, and recycling plants often struggle to keep up with the volume of donations they receive. 

Wherever possible, it’s best to consider the environment when disposing of your chef’s knives. Can you donate your knives? Recycle them effectively? Get another few months’ worths of use out of them? The decision is yours. 

Their Condition – Can They Be Reused?

Sometimes, a knife has simply lost all usefulness. Often, however, it’s possible to extend the life of your knives with a little TLC. Rust can be removed with the right techniques and a few minutes of sharpening can get things back to where they need to be. 

It’s not always possible but is worth considering if you haven’t already. 

Click here to learn how to remove rust from your knife’s blade. 


How to Dispose of Kitchen Knives Safely – Your Options

Check out the options below to learn how to dispose of kitchen knives the right way!  

The Scrap Metal Section of Your Recycling Center 

Many recycling centers will happily take old kitchen knives provided they’re made from the right materials. Depending on the center you choose, you’ll have to know the following: 

  • Which metals your knife is made from 
  • Whether they take the knife whole or with the handle removed
  • How they accept knife donations (packaged VS loose) 
  • What condition your knife has to be in 

If you’re unsure, call your local center and see what they recommend. In most cases, it’s relatively straightforward to recycle your kitchen knives. 

If your knives are still in a reasonable condition, we strongly recommend donating them instead of throwing them away. Donation is even preferable to recycling as it saves energy and immediately gives the knives to someone who needs them.

Where to Donate old Knives

You could try the following donation ideas: 

  • A friend or relative 
  • A local Goodwill or other charity stores 
  • Your local police department (check what they accept) 
  • Create a donation post on sites like Gumtree or Freecycle

If donation or recycling don’t work for you, we explore disposal options below:    

A Plastic Bottle and Newspaper Wrap 

For this method you will need: 

  • A sturdy plastic bottle 
  • Newspaper 
  • Tape 
  • Scissors 

You’ll be wrapping your knife in newspaper and then securing it in a plastic bottle. Follow these basic steps: 

  1. Cut the bottle open vertically using your scissors 
  2. Wrap your knife in newspaper and then place it within the body of the bottle 
  3. Secure everything shut using your tape 
  4. Put the bottled knife in the trash for collection 

A Puncture-Proof Container 

For this method you will need: 

  • A puncture-proof container like metal or thick cardboard box 
  • Newspaper 
  • Tape 

Follow these steps for best results: 

  1. Wrap your knife in newspaper and then tape it in place 
  2. Enclose your newspaper-covered knife to your puncture-proof container 
  3. Tape the container shut 
  4. Put your container in the trash 

Bubble Wrap and Other Protective Options 

Still, looking for ideas? Use the tips below: 

  • Wrap your knife in thick bubble wrap
  • Wrap your knife’s blade in several layers of tape 
  • Completely blunt your knife using coarse sandpaper 
  • Tape your knife inside an old book 
  • Secure your knife inside several plastic bags 

Disposing of Chef’s Knives – Final Thoughts 

We hope the suggestions above have been useful. We firmly believe that you should try to donate your knives first, recycle them second, and only try to dispose of them as a last resort. 

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