Can You Recycle Keys?

You can recycle your keys if you want to prevent them from becoming trash.

Some insurance companies even offer rebates on the value of recycling your car keys. Rogue car dealers might also offer incentives if you give them your worn-out keys in exchange for a beautiful new set.

So, can you recycle keys? Yes!

Recycling is pretty much the buzzword of our age when it comes to sustainability and the environment. This concern has even spread to car keys.

Here is a breakdown of what you need to know about recycling your old unwanted keys.

Can You Recycle Keys?

Yes, and you can recycle your car keys at car key recycling companies.

They are, in themselves, an organization that promotes recycling and environmental sustainability practices.

Most varieties of keys may come in handy during emergencies, so handing in broken or lost keys for recycling might be worthwhile for those around you.

While you won’t be able to recycle your keys by the side yard bin, there are organizations that specialize in the disposal of worn out keys from homes in your area.

In a moment, we’ll look at who you can reach out to in your neighborhood for recycling your key collection.

What Are Keys Made Of?

The purpose of keys is to open locks and allow individuals or vehicles access into secured areas.

They provide us the means to leave our homes knowing that our valuables and loved ones are protected from the outside world while at the same time helping to keep intruders out.

Keys have been around since the advent of locking devices, as have locksmiths and locksmiths services.

The earliest keys were made of wood, which was carved to create various shapes with holes on either sides of the object that would act as accessories for key rings.

These keys were worn around one’s neck or were attached to key chains, holed on opposite sides to help facilitate their use.

Changes in recent years have resulted to metal being the primary material used to create keys.

There are many sorts of metals used to make keys; the most popular being brass, aluminum and steel.

The two most common sorts of metal keys are brass and nickel plated keys; each made of metal and shaped to fit differently into locks of various shapes and sizes.

What Keys Cannot Be Recycled?

The majority of metal keys can be recycled but there are certain types that cannot be recycled.

Any key with plastic on it cannot be recycled; this means that keys with plastic on the handle cannot be recycled, nor can keys with plastic on the blade.

Plastic and metal can both be thrown with your household garbage for the regular pick up; either metal or plastic can be thrown with household garbage and recovered at recycling centers or warehouses that sort trash and items by material.

The metal would have to be stripped to bar any components that may be hazardous to recycle; this is to ensure that it does not contaminate other metals that will be recycled and reused into new materials or consumer products.

This will be very difficult to achieve with metal keys with plastic and steel keys with plastic.

Separating the two components will not be easy and it may not even be possible in some cases; metal keys with plastic cannot be recycled and steel keys with plastic have to be stripped to bar any components that may be hazardous to recycle.

If you have keys with plastic attached to them and you would like to dispose of them, you have two options: Leave them at your local recycling center or drop off center with your other household waste.

How to Dispose of Old Keys

Not all keys can be recycled, so if your keys are in good shape and you have no use for them, you can donate them to a charity that collects used keys for reuse.

When you replace the locks on your house or office, take the old keys with you to the local locksmith and they will send them to a local charity that collects used keys for reuse.

This implies that you may have to call several locksmiths before they will accept your donated keys.

If this is the case, you’ll save time and the money you would otherwise spend on recycling your used keys.

We demonstrate how to dispose your keys in the short video below:

Sort Keys

The first step to disposing of keys is sorting.

Look through your key collection and identify the keys that have plastic and those that have metal parts.

Keep the one you’re keeping and get rid of the others.

Package Keys

If you have a lot of keys, you might not be able to package all of them as you first collect them.

The paper bag may then be placed in a plastic bag and left in your bin for collection or left in your recycling box.

Place Old Keys In The Recycling Bin

Place your bundled keys in your household waste recycling box or look for a recycling center that accepts house hold waste.

It would be collected by the local waste collection services truck and carried to a recycling center where it will be sorted and recycled.

How to Reuse Old Keys

Here are a few DIY ideas that use old keys and spare key blanks:

  • Make a statement with old keys as jewelry by stringing them in a necklace or bracelet.
  • Use ancient keys as decoration on a key ring or hang them on a wall with a unique photo frame.
  • When you don’t have a bottle cap, an old key cap can be substituted perfectly.
  • Keep old keys by your bedside and use them as makeshift paper clips or thumb tacks.
  • Use old keys as decorative pieces in your potted plants and flowers by gluing them to small pebbles.
  • Use old keys attractively by attaching small bells to them and hang them in your garden.
  • To keep old keys from blowing around trash piles, place a magnet or sticky tape to hold the key in place.
  • Make Christmas decorations out of old keys and put them on the tree as ornaments.
  • To give your garments some color and character, use an old key to decorate the waist of a skirt, or add it to the edge of a dress or blouse.
  • To construct a key holder, bend an old key into a hook shape, then nail it to the inside of a cupboard or closet wall.
  • Make coasters with old keys by gluing the key tops to a piece of plywood or glass using glue as a sealant.
  • Make a dish out an old key by carving it out of wood to resemble a textured bowl that can be colored and turned into a vase or Decorative keepsake box.
  • To construct a DIY key clock, nail an old key to the center of a large round piece of wood, then use a pencil to draw the numbers on the face.

Can You Throw Old Keys in the Trash?

Yes, and you can t just toss them in like normal trash either.

The keys, on the other hand, can be cast into a fire in your fireplace or backyard fire pit.

In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need to get rid of keys or flush them down the drain when they get old and worn.

It is detrimental for our planet to simply throw things away.

Anything that can t be recycled or reused should be disposed of properly and disposed of as hazardous waste – not thrown into a trash can, says the Environmental Protection Agency.

Also Read: How to Dispose of Old Driver’s License Safely


In conclusion, you can recycle your car keys if you want to protect the environment and save some money in the process!

Moreover, you ll also lower the amount of waste in landfills helping reduce the impact of climate change.

If you want to recycle your car keys, you ll have to choose between disposing of them in your bin or having some charity pick them up for you.

Your other option is to donate your car keys to a recycling center where they may be reused or disposed of properly.