How To Recycle Umbrellas {The Right Way!}

By Rebekah Pierce

Did you know that about $348 million worth of umbrellas are sold each year in the United States alone? That’s just a small percentage compared to other cultures and countries. Nevertheless, if you’re wondering what to do with your old, broken umbrella, you’re in the right place. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to recycle umbrellas.

Can You Put An Umbrella In The Bin?

Most of us have been there before – it’s a beautiful day, you’ve got your drink in hand, and suddenly it starts to rain. In a panic, you grab the nearest umbrella and make a dash for cover. 

But what happens when the sun comes back out and you’re left with a wet, soggy umbrella? Is it recyclable? 

The answer, unfortunately, is not always clear. While many umbrellas are made of recyclable materials like aluminum or steel, the fabric canopy is often not biodegradable. As a result, most umbrellas must be placed in the trash bin. However, there are some companies that are working to change this. 

Green solutions like the E Umbrella use recycled plastic for the canopy and bamboo for the frame, making them 100% recyclable. 

So next time you find yourself caught in a rainstorm, know that there is an eco-friendly solution for disposing of your umbrella. Keep reading to learn more about how to recycle and repurpose your old parasol.

Can You Recycle Old Umbrellas?

Many of us don’t know what to do with items that can’t be recycled through traditional means, so we end up throwing them in the trash. But did you know that there are actually many ways to recycle items that can’t be recycled curbside? 

One example is umbrellas. 

Most umbrellas are made of metal and fabric, which means they can’t be recycled through your  curbside pick-up. However, there are many companies that will recycle old umbrellas for you. Of course, you can always find fun ways to repurpose your old umbrella, too!

Some companies that recycle old umbrellas are:

  • Recycle Now
  • Terracycle
  • Earth 911
  • Be Recycled
  • Recycle Bank

What Can You Make With A Broken Umbrella?

Don’t toss that broken umbrella in the trash just yet! There are plenty of fun and creative things you can make with it. Check out these ideas to get inspired. You’ll be surprised at how much you can do with a little bit of imagination.

How Do You Make A Bag Out Of An Old Umbrella?

You can make a bag out of an old umbrella by following these steps:

Remove the ribs and canopy from the umbrella frame. Cut the fabric into a rectangle that is twice as wide as the umbrella frame and long enough to wrap around the frame.

Fold the fabric in half so that the wrong sides are together and sew along the edge with a sewing machine. Leave a few inches unsewn at the top.

Wrap the fabric around the umbrella frame and sew the top edge shut with a sewing machine. Trim any excess fabric and embellish the bag as desired.

With a little bit of effort, you can upcycle an old umbrella into a stylish new bag! Here’s a video with more information:

Garden Stakes From Umbrellas

With a little bit of creativity, old umbrellas can be repurposed into a variety of useful items. For instance, the ribs of an umbrella can be removed and used as garden stakes. Simply drive the stakes into the ground, and your plants will have reliable support. 

Make Clothing And Accessories

Alternatively, the fabric from an umbrella can be repurposed into clothing and accessories. Umbrella cloth is surprisingly sturdy, and it can be used to make everything from skirts to handbags.

DIY Door Decor

One way is to use them as door décor. Simply take the umbrella, open it up, and place it over the door. The colorful fabric will add a touch of whimsy to any space, especially if you add some fun decorations like flowers or leaves.

Umbrella Art

Another way to repurpose an old umbrella is to turn it into art. Paint the fabric with a design or message, or use the umbrella as a stencil to create a unique work of art. 

You can even use old umbrellas to make jewelry. Cut the fabric into strips and weave it into bracelets or necklaces. 

Make A Chandelier

One idea is to turn an umbrella into a chandelier. This is a great way to add some character and style to a room. Simply remove the fabric from the umbrella frame, add some wiring and light bulbs, and voila! You have a unique new light fixture.

Use It As A Drying Rack

Another great idea is to use an umbrella as a drying rack. This is perfect for small spaces where you don’t have room for a traditional clothesline or drying rack. Just open up the umbrella and hang your wet clothes over the spokes. The air will circulate around them and help them dry faster.

Make Kids Crafts

Kids love crafts, and there are many fun projects you can do with old umbrellas. One idea is to make a mobile. 

Simply glue or tape colorful umbrellas to a hanger, and hang it from the ceiling. You can also use umbrellas to create wall art. Again, start by gluing or taping the umbrellas to a backing board. Then, arrange them in a pleasing pattern and display them on a wall. 

If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can even turn an old umbrella into a costume. Cut the umbrella in half and use it as wings, or fashion a hat out of the fabric. With a little imagination, you can turn an old umbrella into something new and exciting.

DIY Banners And Signs 

To make a banner, simply remove the fabric from the umbrella frame and use it to spell out a message or design. For a sign, paint the umbrella frame and add a handle for hanging. Be sure to seal the paint with a clear coat to protect it from the elements. 

Make A Sun Shade Or Frost Cover For The Garden

One easy way to protect your plants from the sun or frost is to upcycle an old umbrella into a garden shade or frost cover. Simply remove the canopy from the umbrella frame and secure it over your plants with some heavy-duty gardening tape or wire. 

For extra protection, you can line the inside of the canopy with a light-colored fabric. This will help to reflect sunlight and keep your plants cool on hot days. If you live in an area that experiences a lot of frost, you can also use your shade cover to protect delicate plants from the cold. 

Other Options For Getting Rid Of An Old Umbrella

It’s raining, you need an umbrella, and you only have one. But it’s really old, and you don’t want to use it anymore. What are your options? 

An old umbrella can be put to a number of different uses, depending on its condition. One option is to donate it to a local thrift store or shelter.

Another option is to sell it at a garage sale or online marketplace. Finally, if the umbrella is still in good condition, it can be given as a gift to someone who may need it. No matter what you do with your old umbrella, make sure to recycle the metal and fabric components so that they can be reused in the future.

Buy A Sustainable Umbrella Next Time

Most umbrellas are made from non-renewable petroleum-based materials that take centuries to break down in landfills. 

Furthermore, many umbrellas are shipped long distances, resulting in a large carbon footprint. Sustainable umbrellas, on the other hand, are made from renewable materials like bamboo or wood. They are also often sourced locally, which reduces shipping emissions. In addition, sustainable umbrellas are often designed with a smaller carbon footprint in mind. 

For example, some sustainable umbrella manufacturers use recycled metal for the framework of their umbrellas. Others use energy-efficient production processes to minimize their environmental impact. By choosing a sustainable umbrella, you can help reduce your own carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment.

Now that you know how to recycle umbrellas, it’s time for you to put this knowledge into practice. Get in the habit of breaking down your umbrellas and recycling them every time you’re done using them. It may take a little extra effort at first, but eventually it will become second nature. And be sure to spread the word to your friends and family – the more people who recycle umbrellas, the better!

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