What to Do with Old Glasses

What to Do with Old Glasses

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Glasses are an essential part of many people’s lives, providing the clarity needed for daily activities. However, as prescriptions change and styles evolve, many are left wondering what to do with old glasses. Instead of letting them gather dust in a drawer, consider the many ways they can be repurposed, donated, or recycled.

Donating Old Glasses

One of the most impactful ways to deal with old glasses is to donate them. There are numerous organizations and programs dedicated to collecting used eyeglasses and distributing them to individuals in need around the world.

  • Lions Clubs International: This organization has a robust eyeglass recycling program. They collect, clean, and redistribute glasses to those in need. You can drop off your old glasses at one of their collection boxes found in various community locations.
  • OneSight: A global nonprofit dedicated to providing vision care, OneSight accepts used glasses through various collection points, often located in optical retail stores.
  • Vision Aid Overseas: This charity focuses on providing eye care in developing countries. They collect old glasses and use the proceeds from recycling materials to fund their programs.

Donation Organizations for Old Glasses

Organization Description How to Donate
Lions Clubs International Collects and redistributes glasses worldwide Drop-off at community collection boxes
OneSight Provides vision care globally Collection points in optical stores
Vision Aid Overseas Funds eye care programs in developing countries through recycling Check their website for collection points

Recycling Old Glasses

Recycling is another excellent option for old glasses. Glasses are made of materials like plastic and metal, which can be recycled and reused.

  • LensCrafters: Many LensCrafters locations accept old glasses for recycling. They partner with organizations to ensure glasses are either repurposed or broken down responsibly.
  • Local Recycling Programs: Check with your local recycling program to see if they accept eyeglasses. Some municipalities have special collection days for items like glasses.
  • TerraCycle: TerraCycle offers mail-in recycling programs for various items, including eyeglasses. They ensure that every part of the glasses is recycled properly.

Repurposing Old Glasses

If you’re feeling creative, there are numerous ways to repurpose old glasses into something useful or decorative.

  • Craft Projects: Use the frames and lenses in various craft projects. They can be turned into unique jewelry, photo frames, or even art installations.
  • Reading Glasses: If the prescription is only slightly different from your current one, keep your old glasses as a backup pair or use them for reading.
  • Safety Glasses: Use old glasses as safety goggles for home improvement projects or other activities where eye protection is needed.

Upcycling Ideas for Old Glasses

Upcycling is a fantastic way to give new life to old items. Here are some creative ideas to upcycle your old glasses.

  • Magnifying Glass: Remove the lenses from old reading glasses to create a magnifying glass.
  • Decorative Items: Use the frames as part of a decorative display. They can be painted and arranged in various patterns.
  • Planters: Turn the lenses into mini planters for small succulents or air plants.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I ensure my old glasses benefit those in need?

When donating old glasses, choose reputable organizations like Lions Clubs International or OneSight. These groups have established processes to clean and redistribute glasses to those who need them most.

Can I recycle glasses with prescription lenses?

Yes, many recycling programs accept glasses with prescription lenses. Organizations like TerraCycle specialize in recycling complex items, ensuring that every part of the glasses is processed properly.

What are some creative ways to repurpose old glasses?

There are countless creative ways to repurpose old glasses. They can be turned into jewelry, safety goggles, or even decorative items like photo frames. Use your imagination to give them a new life.

Are there local options for recycling old glasses?

Yes, local recycling programs may accept old glasses. Check with your municipality to see if they have special collection days for eyeglasses or partner with organizations that recycle glasses.


Dealing with old glasses doesn’t have to be a hassle. By donating, recycling, or repurposing, you can ensure that your old glasses continue to serve a purpose. Not only do these options help those in need, but they also contribute to environmental sustainability.

At Liberty Laser Eye Center, we encourage you to consider these options for your old glasses. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to contact us. Let’s make a positive impact together!

Liberty Laser Eye Center
8321 Old Courthouse Road
Vienna, VA 22182

(571) 234-5678

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