Disposing of Kitchen Knives: How to do it Correctly

How do you dispose of knives? Knives should not be eliminated with household waste – blunt blades are also dangerous. The metal of the knives is also recyclable. Old knives can be eliminated in landfill free of charge; another option is scrap metal and scrap dealers.

Old knives that are in good condition can also be donated to charities or re-sharpened yourself.

Kitchen knives in household waste

If a knife becomes dull and unusable due to improper handling or simply due to the inevitable signs of age, it is still often simply thrown away with household waste.

But this is strictly forbidden in many communities! The reason for this is the high risk of injury. Even if the blunt blade is tightly wrapped with bubble wrap, piece of cardboard over the sharp part, newspaper or other insulating materials and thus protected, there remains a risk – and such disposal is prohibited.

In order to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary hassle, you should therefore consider eliminating of old knives in the residual waste from the outset.

Right way to dispose off the knife
Source: Chef Sac

There are other and better ways to eliminate dull knives. If disposal of the knives is expressly permitted in the relevant district and no other solution is available, then the blades should always be wrapped thickly with paper or a cloth and protected.

Knives are made of recyclable metal

It’s not just the undoubtedly existing risk of injury and the corresponding regulations that speak against eliminating of knives in household waste.

Other types of disposal are also preferable for economic and ecological reasons: knives are largely made of valuable metal that can be easily recycled. These important resources should not be wasted carelessly.

That’s why the idea of ​​recycling should play a crucial role when choosing the right disposal method. It’s not difficult at all, because there are several options to choose from for guaranteed and sensible recycling.

The only thing that is not recommended is gray household waste bins and yellow bags – and knives have no place in bulky waste either, because if injuries occur, the owner is liable!

Free delivery to the landfill

The easiest and safest solution for eliminating of knives is to take them to a public landfill. Appropriate collection containers are usually set up there or the employees collect the knives themselves.

The delivery of commercial quantities is practically always free of charge, but the exact conditions, including opening times, should be inquired on site in good time, as there are regional differences.

Different types of knives
Source: The Seasoned Mom

Another option is to dispose of aged blades through a scrap dealer. Metal waste dealers are almost always very interested in all metal objects and are no exception when it comes to knives.

Depending on the quality and quantity delivered, there may even be a small fee. In smaller towns or rural regions there are often traveling scrap and scrap metal dealers who are also happy to accept aged blades.

Both at the landfill and at the commercial scrap dealer it is guaranteed that the metal from the knives is put to good use.

Old knives are not always useless

If treated correctly, high-quality knives have an extremely long lifespan. A good blade can be sharpened again. However, this also requires a certain level of skill – not every private individual is able to do this easily.

An alternative would be to donate the knives that are no longer usable to a charity, for example a one-dollar store or a social department store. In these organizations the knives are edged and passed on to those in need.

Of course, this is only worthwhile with genuine branded goods and not with cheap discount knives that can no longer be edged properly.  All of these options listed are better than the simple but risky disposal of a knife in the trash.

Important: Not every city allows you to discard knives in the yellow bag. To be sure, call the relevant authority. The specialists can usually give you good tips on how to discard knives.  You can also often find specific information on the proper disposal of individual items on your municipality’s website.

Always cover the knife with newspaper before disposing off
Source: Daring Kitchen

Alternative options for disposing of kitchen knives

As already mentioned, disposing of knives with household waste or plastic waste is not optimal. However, there are some alternatives that may also be available in your area. Scrap collectors often drive through the streets to collect scrap metal. You speak to this person without further ado and ask them to take your knife. The advantage is that the person is immediately informed about the presence of a knife and can protect themselves accordingly.

Social department stores and happily accept old kitchen knives. These are first processed and sharpened on site and then passed on to people from socially disadvantaged backgrounds. This means that your knife will still serve a good purpose after it has been disposed of.

There maybe other recycling center in your area, you just need to find it. 

Conclusion: Imprudent action is dangerous

Before you dispose of your old kitchen knife, it is definitely worth calling a competent authority. This way you can be sure that you hand the knife in the right place without violating any applicable regulations. It is not recommended to throw away a knife “just in case” because if something does happen, you will blame yourself afterwards.

By the way: Expensive knives in particular are designed to last a long time. So that you can enjoy your cutting tools for as long as possible, I recommend that you use wooden cutting boards as a base and treat your knives regularly with a knife sharpener.


Q: How can I safely dispose of old kitchen knives?

A: To dispose of old kitchen knives safely, wrap the knives in multiple layers of cardboard or bubble wrap to prevent injury. Then, you can either donate them to a charitable organization, recycle them at a local recycling center, or take them to a scrap metal recycling facility.

Q: What is the proper way to dispose of kitchen knives?

A: The proper way to dispose of kitchen knives is to first wrap the blades securely to avoid any accidents. You can then either recycle the knives if possible, donate them to a charity, or safely dispose of them in a designated sharp objects bin.

Q: Can I throw away old kitchen knives in the regular trash?

A: It is not recommended to throw away old kitchen knives in regular trash as it can pose a risk to sanitation workers. Always wrap your knives properly before disposal to ensure they do not cause harm to anyone handling the garbage.

Q: How do I get rid of my old knife set?

A: To dispose of an old knife set safely, wrap each knife individually in several layers of protective material such as cardboard or newspaper. Then, place the wrapped knives in a sturdy box before taking them to a local recycling facility or a designated drop-off point.

Q: Where can I recycle my old kitchen knives?

A: You can check with your local recycling center or municipality to inquire about the best way to recycle old kitchen knives. Some areas have specific drop-off locations or metal recycling programs that accept sharp objects like knives.

Q: Can I donate my old knives to charity?

A: Yes, many charitable organizations, such as the Salvation Army, accept donations of kitchen items including old knives. Make sure to securely wrap the knives before donating to prevent any accidents during transportation.

Q: What should I do if my knives have seen better days?

A: If your knives are no longer in usable condition, it’s best to dispose of them safely. Wrap the blades in a secure manner and take them to a metal recycling facility or consult with local recycling guidelines for proper disposal methods.

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