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How to dispose of old kitchen knives safely

Updated February 21, 2017

When it comes time to replace your old kitchen knife, the natural reaction may be to just throw it in the garbage. Doing so, however, could cause injury or even be against the law. Instead of throwing your old knives away, it's possible to donate them to a thrift store or food kitchen. If donation is not an option and you need to dispose of the knives, following proper procedure can save others from injury.

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  1. Cut two pieces of cardboard, each large enough to cover the blade of the knife. Place one piece on each side of the knife blade and wrap the cardboard thoroughly with tape to secure it. Doing so helps to ensure no one will get cut it they do come into contact with the knife.

  2. Put the wrapped knife into the empty detergent, bleach or other puncture proof container. It is best to use a non-recyclable container, made out of thick plastic or metal. One the outside on the container, use the marker to write "Do not recycle" and "Sharps." Marking the outside of the container alerts sorters, dustmen and others to use precaution.

  3. Place the lid back on the container and use the duct tape to firmly secure it. Even if the container features a screw-on lid, you still need to wrap it with additional tape both to deter people from opening it and serve as a warning sign of the contents.

  4. Tip

    Check with your local or state government to see if there are additional procedures. Some states offer recycling centres that will dispose of sharp items, while others have specific containers to use in disposal. You can also contact your garbage hauler to check if they have additional disposal procedures.


    Disposing of knives or other sharp items without taking proper precaution can lead to serious injury and may even be illegal depending on your state's laws.

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Things You'll Need

  • Empty washing powder or bleach container.
  • Duct tape
  • Permanent marker
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors

About the Author

M.W. Sand
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