How to dispose of kitchen knives

UK Home Improvement

How To Dispose Of Kitchen Knives

These days, recycling and sustainability are high on the agenda with many of us being more cautious about what we throw in the bin. While it might be obvious how to dispose of some household materials, with others it is not always as clear. For example – kitchen knives.

You’ll seldom find a household that doesn’t have kitchen knives within it, used for cutting meat, vegetables, bread and other foodstuff. 

While these knives are purely used for domestic purposes, they can still be hazardous (just ask anyone who has cut their finger while chopping vegetables!) 

With this in mind, it is important to always dispose of kitchen knives safely and responsibly to reduce the risk of any injuries to yourself or those handling waste. 

In this article, we’ll answer the question ‘how to dispose of kitchen knives’ by explaining everything you need to know about the process and outlining the steps you should be taking. 

Read on to find out more.

Can You Throw Knives In The Bin?

Whether your old kitchen knives are no longer functional or you simply have a new set that you want to use instead, you will inevitably want to know how to dispose of them properly. 

While you may be tempted to throw them in your general waste bin, you should never do this. While it is not strictly illegal, it can be dangerous for waste management workers who handle the waste or collect your bins. 

So, how can you dispose of kitchen knives? We’ll cover this in the section below…

How To Dispose Of Kitchen Knives 

There are numerous ways you can dispose of kitchen knives appropriately, but no matter what method you choose you should always ensure the blades have been wrapped and are protected before you discard them,

This is so people handling them do not come to any harm. A few ways you can dispose of kitchen knives include:

Visit Your Local Recycling Centre 

If you’re wondering ‘how to recycle old kitchen knives’ then the first thing you should do is visit your local recycling centre. 

Many recycling centres in the UK will accept kitchen knives but it will depend on the specific policy of the one you are visiting. This is because some recycling centres will not accept sharp objects for safety reasons. Therefore, it’s always worth checking with the facility or your local council ahead of time to check whether they will accept it, and if not, if they recommend an alternative solution. 

Recycling knives is a great, environmentally friendly option as the metal used in the knives will be used to create future products. 

Visit A Knife Sharpening Centre 

If the reason you are looking to dispose of your knives is because they have become blunt or do not work as well as they did when you first purchased them, then you may be able to address this without getting rid of them at all.

There are many knife-sharpening businesses out there that work with a whole host of different blades and may be able to help restore them to their former glory. These services can give your knives a new lease of life and you may reconsider disposing of them at all. 

You can also purchase your own knife-sharpening tools and try and sharpen them at home.

Alternatively, if you’re still set on getting rid of them, some knife sharpening centres will also offer a recycling service. They will likely have specialist experience in recycling knives and will be able to recommend and advise on the process.

Get in touch with your nearest knife sharpening centre and enquire about the services they offer.    

Scrap Metal Services 

Scrap metal companies will usually accept all metal products, including knives. Usually, these organisations will have their own recycling centres where the metal will be converted into new products – so it is also an environmentally friendly choice. 

Plus, you will likely be paid by the company for letting them have your knives. Before taking your knives to their premises, check if they have any specific requirements and sort them accordingly. 

Household Hazardous Waste Collection 

If your knives have non-metal handles, like plastic, they may be slightly harder to dispose of or recycle. 

In these instances, you may have to call on the support of household hazardous waste collection services. 

These programmes are designed to handle, and dispose of, items or substances that are deemed to pose a risk to human health or the environment. 

Often, knives fall into this category, but you should check with your local waste management authority beforehand to make sure your knives fall into their specific guidelines. This will also provide you with information on how to properly package and drop-off such items. 

Donate Or Repurpose 

If your knives are still usable and you’re simply discarding them because you’re replacing them, then you should consider donating them.

Visit local charity shops, charity organisations, local community kitchens and similar environments to see if they would like to take them off your hands. 

Alternatively, you could repurpose the knives, using handles or blades for DIY projects or other purposes. 

Can I Take Knives To The Police Station?

Yes, many local police stations will be happy to take kitchen knives off your hands. But before you do this, you should always check in advance to ensure that your local station is willing to do this.

They will be able to advise on their specific procedures or give guidance on alternative options. Some police stations have designated drop-off areas or knife amnesty bins that are specifically designed for safe knife disposal.

While the primary purpose of these is to reduce knife crime, there is no reason why you cannot put your old kitchen knives in here, too. It’s also a great way to show support for local initiatives. 

Your local police station will also be able to let you know where your nearest knife amnesty bin is located. Thousands of knives have been disposed of in this manner since the bins were introduced. 


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