Why is it Important to Recycle Your Eyeglasses

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Make a Spectacle of Recycling Eyeglasses

Many people are wondering how they can recycle old eyeglasses. Maybe your eyes just got worse so you need a stronger prescription. Maybe you just got Lasik surgery and your eyes are good as new! Or maybe your glasses are just a bit out of style. Well, four eyes, don’t just sit there- Find out about different organizations working towards a clear vision of recycling.

Donate Those Old Glasses

New Eyes for the Needy –  Your eyeglasses (in good condition) are sent to medical missions and international charitable organizations to be distributed in poor and developing nations. They accept metal or plastic eyeglasses, and also hearing aids, silverware and giftware, watches, and silver and gold jewelry. Proceeds from the sale of scrap metal, hearing aids, jewelry and giftware are used to purchase new eyeglasses for needy residents in the U.S.

Recycle old eyeglasses
Creative Commons License photo credit: Svadilfari

They are located out of New Jersey, so if you live close enough you can drop your glasses off, or otherwise ship them in padded envelopes or boxes, with the cost of shipping tax-deductible.

The Lions Club also has a wonderful program that prepares and ships glasses to humanitarian distribution teams, and keeps an inventory of prepared glasses in Supply Lions permanent clinics. Drop off your old eyewear at Lions-sponsored collection boxes – Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers.

OneSight allows you to search for a drop-off location near you, which may include somewhere as nearby as LensCrafters or the Sears Optical center- and you didn’t even know it! What most of these places are looking for is gently used glasses, so remember to provide quality donations to places like Pearle Vision or Sears or Target Optical. Find a donate box near you.

. If your glasses are broken, you can bring them to Lenscrafters and they will try and repair them and then donate them.

More Ways to Recycle Old Eyeglasses: An Artistic Vision

There is also a great art piece by Stuart Haygarth entitled Spectacle, which is an eyeglass chandelier made from over 1,000 pairs of prescription spectacles!

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