While most knives last a lifetime, it’s possible to have older or damaged knives lying around. Or maybe you have knives that you simply don’t use anymore. Whatever the reason may be, there are times when you need to safely dispose of a knife.
It’s never a bad idea to learn how to dispose of knives. You’ll be well prepared for when you find old, broken, or unwanted knives while cleaning out the attic or storage. Keep in mind that these steps can be used for any knife, whether it’s for the kitchen or hunting field.
Before you begin, there is one point to consider. This is simply an overview of general knife disposal methods. It is a good idea to also check with local guidelines if there are specific steps you need to take when disposing of knives.
How to Dispose of Knives
How to Prepare Knives For Disposal
- If you can, use a file to dull the blade carefully. The same tools to sharpen a knife can also be used to dull them. Gently grind the sharp edge of the knife with the file until it flattens slightly.
- Wrap the blades with paper (newspaper works well). Use lots of layers to fully conceal the blade. Tape the wrapping paper up so that it remains tight around the blade.
- Use two pieces of cardboard that are slightly larger than the size of the knife. Place the knife between each piece of cardboard and secure the packages together with tape.
- Take your now dull and wrapped knife and place it inside a box (shoe boxes can work). Tape the box firmly shut. Clearly write “SHARP” on a few sides of the box.
- Your knife is ready for safe transport or disposal.
Where to Dispose of Them – Waste/Recycle
Regular Trash Pick-Up
Check with your local waste management services. Most allow knife disposal in regular garbage pick-up. Ensure you properly wrap and secure the blade so that it doesn’t puncture through the garbage bag and injure someone.
Waste Collection Site
Instead of leaving your knives out for garbage pick-up, you can bring them directly to the waste collection site.
Follow the same preparation procedures to secure the blade safely.
Check with your waste collection site in case there are fees for dropping off knives.
Most metals can be recycled and reused. Prepare your knives to protect the blade from puncturing anything.
Then look online for local metal recycling facilities.
Confirm that they take knives and then bring your items in for recycling. Note that you cannot put your knives in roadside recycling pick-up.
Some areas provide collection bins specifically for knives. You most likely won’t need to prepare the blade. Instead, you can simply slide the knife through the container slot so that it drops in. The knife will be held securely in a box until pick-up services collect it.
Scrap Metal Yard
Most local areas have their own scrap metal yards. You can give them your old knives and receive cashback. This is especially useful if you have a lot of blades to dispose of.
If you have perfectly good knives that you simply want to get rid of, then you can consider selling them. There are lots of online websites and apps that let you post and sell items.
You can also check out local outdoor or hunting and fishing stores. Some of these stores have buy-back programs for items that are still in good condition. Alternatively, you can also check out a local pawnshop to sell your knives.
No matter where you decide to sell, there are many ways to earn money and dispose of your knives — a win-win!
If you’re not too concerned about earning money from your knives, you can choose to donate them to a local charity. You can also list the knives online as a free item for people to pick up. Local charities can resell your old knives to people who might not have easy access otherwise.
If you’re concerned about where your knives end up, you can deliver them to a police station.
Most police stations accept knives that you no longer want to keep to help prevent these knives from getting into the wrong hands.
Call your police station ahead of time to ask if there are any special protocols to follow for giving them your knives.
Do not walk in the police station with unconcealed knives — this can look like you’re entering with a weapon.
Follow their instructions, and cover the knives fully so they are secure under several layers of protection.
You can use this knife preparation technique regardless of your disposal method. You can even use this to pack knives if you are moving or simply storing them. It’s always a good idea to prevent accidents by knowing how to secure a knife safely.
Some old or damaged knives can be more dangerous. They might require extra special care as you prepare them for disposal. Broken pieces, sharp blades, or even rust can all be dangerous issues that you need to avoid. If you follow these easy steps, you will successfully avoid unnecessary injuries.
In some cases, selling or donating your knives can help extend their lifespan. This is good for the environment and helps other people have access to tools they can’t otherwise afford. In all cases, making sure you dispose of your knives properly is the most responsible action for knife owners.