How to Recycle Contact Lenses

Updated February 21, 2017

If you have spare contact lenses that are unused because your prescription has changed or you have stopped wearing them, it does seem sensible to recycle them. There are many people in the world who cannot afford glasses or contact lenses, so by recycling them you could be helping someone to see properly. There are many schemes for recycling used eyeglasses. Recycling of contact lenses is a fairly new concept, but it is easy to do.

Package your unused lenses, ensuring that they are securely sealed. Only unused contact lenses can be accepted for donation.

Use a bubble envelope or other padded envelope to ensure that the lenses won't be damaged in transit.

Write the following address clearly on the envelope:

Lens Lady Eyeglass Donation

c/o Lions Club

300 West 22nd Street

Oak Brook, IL 60523-8842

Some other groups that accept contact lenses:

New Eyes for the Needy

549 Millburn Ave.

Short Hills, N.J. 07078

Phone: 973-376-4903

MADRE Helping Hands Campaign

121 West 27th St., Suite 301

New York, NY10001

Phone: 212-627-0444

Send your package. You have successfully recycled your lenses.


Check whether there are any facilities in your area that recycle contact lenses. Ask local opticians for information.


Never send used contact lenses for recycling. They could carry diseases and infections. Plastic containers for contact lenses can't be recycled with other plastics. Ask your optician whether she recycles these.

Things You'll Need

  • Unused contact lenses
  • Protective envelope
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About the Author

Zoe Van-de-Velde began writing in 1990 and contributes to eHow and Answerbag. Van-de-Velde has a Bachelor of Arts & Humanities in media and English from DeMontfort University. She is currently studying for a Master of Arts in creative media arts specializing in digital photography at the London South Bank University.