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How to dispose of old knives?

I'm getting some new knives for Christmas (I hope!), and I'd like to toss the old ones. The old knives are not really worth passing on to anyone, since they're very dull, and the wooden handles are no longer securely attached (note to self... don't put wood in dishwasher).

I'm reluctant to put them in the trash for fear of someone, or animal, accidentally cutting themselves. Would it be ok to put them in a box, and then seal the box before putting them in the trash?

Any ideas?

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  1. One man's trash is another's treasure. I would give them to good will. Somebody handy could sharpen them and reattach the handles easily enough.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kengk

      This would be my first suggestion also. Not only does it provide useful recycling of old knives (better than melting as scrap steel), but it also provides an income stream for the Thrift Store (& a tax credit for you, if you're so inclined).

      My 2nd-choice suggestion would be local 'scrap steel' recycling. This is where you'd drop off anything metal: curtain rods, broken tools, old bbq grills, vehicle exhaust systems, etc. If they're truly 'junk' metal, then this is where they SHOULD go.

      The last-choice would be simply throwing them away. There's absolutely no benefit to this option.

    2. Doesn't your community have a recycling program? I would take them to the recycling drop off location just to make sure no 1 cut themselves trying to reach into the recycling bag.

      2 Replies
      1. re: PotatoHouse

        I do not believe that hardened steel is appropriate for recyclying nor steel and wood combinations.

        1. re: FrankJBN

          Knives shouldn't be included with food cans, but they're certainly acceptable as 'scrap steel'. The wood handles pose no problem for steel smelters, as everything is shredded & separated before melting occurs.

          I sincerely doubt that these knives are hardened in the sense you're thinking. Even if they were, hardening has no effect on scrap melt composition, & poses no problem to the shredders used to break the scrap down.

      2. "Would it be ok to put them in a box," That's what I do with broken glassware which is specifically excluded from my local recycling program.

        1. Salvation Army will take them.

          1. If you have a household hazardous waste disposal station, they might have a sharps bin.

            1. If trash is your only option, I would probably wrap them in heavy duty aluminum foil and then toss in.

              1. Thanks everyone. I'll check if there's a hazardous waste coolection site that will take them. If not i'll wrap each knife and seal them in a box.

                1. Stick them in your enemies! (or your MIL)

                  1. There is no reason to throw them out where they'll be taking up space in a landfill. Wrap them each in a couple of layers of newspaper to protect handlers from possible cuts and then donate them at your local Goodwill, Salvation Army or other thrift store.

                    1. If you want to trash them, then you can intentionally dull the knives first. Now, there may be use for your knives after all. They may be really horrible bad knives which can never measure up to your new knives, but you can surely use the lower quality knives to open cardboxes, envelope, dig your garden... whatever craps.

                      1. OK, after reading some of these replies I'm thinking maybe the knives aren't that bad, and can be used by someone else. I'll look for a charity to drop them off at. Thanks everyone.