Alternative ways to recycle
Special Instructions

Car Keys Are Often E-Waste

Car keys with remote functions are electronic. Any item that contains electronic parts needs to be disposed of with e-waste.


No Plastic and Electronics? It's Scrap Metal

Keys that are not covered in plastic can be disposed of with scrap metal. Find out how to dispose of scrap metal.


Throw Out if Covered in Plastic

If the key itself isn’t electronic but is covered in plastic, throw it away. Plastic is a contaminant for scrap metal recycling.

Alternative Ways to Recycle

Keys for Kids

You can mail in unwanted keys to the nonprofit Keys for Kids or drop off keys at one of their collection sites. Their mission is to support the community and help out students with financial needs, such as negative balances on school lunch accounts.

Ways to Reuse


Use as Hanging Weights

Around the house, sometimes it’s difficult to keep curtains or tablecloths orderly. Try sewing a few old keys along the edge of a curtain or tablecloth to keep them in place on a windy day.

Decorative Purposes

There are a number of crafty ways to reuse keys. For instance, keys can be hung on trees or wreaths during the holidays. You can also repurpose small keys as jewelry.

Did You Know?

The Impact of Recycling Metal

According to the EPA, Americans recycled more than 7 millions tons of metal in 2008, including keys. In doing so, we saved the equivalent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 5 million cars.