After years of use, your cookware has become rusty, unattractive, and unusable. So you find yourself in a predicament. What do you do with the old, useless pile of metal taking up space in the back of your cabinet? You don’t have time to turn these pots into a pretty DIY project, and you don’t want to just throw the pans out.
Sure, there’s still some good metal in them, but can you recycle them?
Yes, you can recycle cookware.
Recycling is perhaps the best way to dispose of your unusable pots and pans.
Why? Because the more metal you have to offer the recycling entity, the more money you’ll get back. Plus, you’ll finally be able to get rid of all the clutter without feeling bad about it.
Since you likely have a whole set you’re hoping to replace, you’ll get more than you would if you were just replacing one pan. However, the monetary return totally depends on the material present in your pots and pans.
What Recyclable Materials Are Present in Pots and Pans?
Different styles of cookware are created with specific metals because of the intended function. All four materials listed below are fully recyclable at Cohen.
- Aluminum –Cookware made with aluminum distributes heat more evenly than many other forms of cookware. It’s also very lightweight. However, some people avoid using aluminum to cook due to the possibility of aluminum seepage into the food.
- Copper – While some people purchase copper cookware for stylistic reasons, it also conducts heat very well.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless steel cookware is usually cheaper than the other, outperforming metals. While this style of cookware doesn’t stain or tarnish, it has poor heat conductivity, and you have less control over your food.
- Cast Iron – Ideal for searing, cast iron can hold heat at very high temperatures. However, this style is more difficult to clean.
Are There Any Harmful Chemicals in the Lining of Pots and Pans?
Yes, sometimes your cookware will have a lining that can’t be properly or naturally processed (in the landfill). Because of this, Teflon and other non-stick linings will need to be stripped completely from your cookware.
That doesn’t mean that you have to bring all your pots and pans to the recycling entity fully stripped of the chemical lining. Many of these recycling entities will handle that laborious process.
However, this might incur a small fee, depending on where you take your pile of cookware.
So I Can’t Throw My Pots and Pans Away?
Be Mindful: Not Every State Has the Same Recycling Laws:
While you might be able to just bring your pots and pans to the curb in some states, other states are more careful and cautious about what takes up space in their landfills. Consult your local recycling authority for a precise answer regarding the legality of trashing your cookware.
What About All the Lids?
You can bring the lids along with the other cookware for recycling. There’s no reason to have them piled up in your cabinets if you can’t use them. Most likely, your cookware lids are either made of stainless steel, tempered glass, copper, or pre-seasoned cast iron. These are all recyclable materials, so you should be allowed to bring them into most recycling entities.
By recycling your outdated pots and pans, you’re taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint, preventing the deterioration of the ozone layer, and promoting a healthier environment for us all.