Is Ceramic Recyclable

Is Ceramic Recyclable? – Explained

At some point in our lives, we all end up with kitchenware and décor pieces we don’t need. Some things break, others get lost, people and their homes change. Ceramic pieces are beautiful, durable, and charming. Yet, sometimes they even need to be replaced. Sometimes, you might be thinking of what to do with scrap or unused ceramics. Well, if you want to consider recycling option and want to know “Is Ceramic Recyclable” this article is for you.

Unlike glass, plastic, or other similar materials, many recycling programs don’t typically accept ceramics. Yet, there are many commercial recycling centers that do take ceramic materials. Even if you can’t find that center in your area, you can always donate or toss your ceramic pieces. 

Things grow old; that is something inevitable. But throwing old items is not always the best option available for you. In this article, I will speak about recycling and disposing of ceramic and porcelain items. I will discuss whether you can recycle them or not and what are other alternatives to throwing away your old ceramic items. 

Is ceramic recyclable?

As I mentioned above, ceramic pieces are harder to recycle than some other materials, like glass and plastic. But this does not mean that they should wind up in landfills. 

In most places, there are two types of recycling facilities – municipal and commercial. If, for some reason, a municipal facility near your area does not accept ceramic items, reach out to commercial ones. There is a high chance that private recycling centers will gladly take ceramics, like sinks and tiles. 

But why is recycling ceramics so difficult? Recycling facilities turn down ceramic pieces because of the technical procedures involved in recycling them. Another explanation is that most local recycling centers don’t have the necessary equipment used to recycle ceramics, and the ones used to recycle basic materials are not strong enough to get the job done. 

The fact that many recycling facilities do not accept ceramics is really unfortunate. Technically speaking, ceramic can be recyclable. 

When recycled, ceramics are crumbled to be used for drainage systems and rock bases for driveways. They can also be smashed and then spun to smooth the edges for use as gravel. 

Most people don’t want to spend hours and hours searching for a suitable recycling center. This is totally natural, as we all have tons of things going on in our lives. To make the search easier, I will give you a very useful thing – if the recycling facility accepts materials like brick or cement, then you might be in luck! Give them a call to see if they accept ceramics.

How do you Dispose of Porcelain Dishes?

If you are unable to find any recycling facilities for ceramic, there are other options available. You can donate old ceramic pieces to thrift stores and pre-loved item shops. This way, you can ensure that they find a new home. Those stores are becoming increasingly popular all over the world, so finding one should not be a problem. 

Sort ceramic items you want to donate. If certain pieces are damaged or broken, most thrift stores won’t accept them. But if they are in a good condition donating your unwanted ceramics can be the next best thing to having them recycled commercially. 

If you have sentimental feelings for a ceramic vase or mug and don’t want to get rid of them, you can get crafty. There are so many beautiful items you can make from old, even damaged ceramic pieces. For instance, a couple of months ago I crafted a beautiful mirror frame from broken ceramic pieces. 

Another interesting project where Ceramics were used, is this famous Park Güell in Barcelona designed by Spanish architect Antoni Gaudí.

Antoni Gaudi - Parc Guell

And if all of these landfill alternatives fail, your ceramics and glassware should be placed in the trash with your other waste items. For the safety of your sanitation workers, just make sure any sharp edges are cushioned, or place the chipped materials in a separate, labeled bag.

Are Porcelain Dishes Recyclable?

When it comes to recycling, porcelain, and other ceramics are almost the same. In most cases, porcelain items are not recyclable. Well, technically they can be, yet there are very few recycling facilities that will accept this material. 

Even with glass-like quality, you cannot hope to recycle them, so the options you can do is:

  • donate them – you can dominate the to charities, thrift, and second-hand shops. 
  • sell them – If your porcelain items are in good condition, you can easily sell them. Vintage ceramic items are in demand. People are looking for unique and beautiful decor pieces, kitchenware, and cookware. I know from my personal experience that some vintage-style restaurants often buy vintage kitchenware for decorative purposes. Online platforms, like eBay and Etsy, can also be an option for you. 
  • throw them in the trash – If all alternatives to the trash bin fail, throw them away, but carefully. Wrap any sharp edges or pieces in newspaper, place them in a plastic bag, label them as “broken glass,” and throw them away. Broken glass is never recyclable because it’s a hazard for sanitation workers to handle.
  • upcycling them

 You are presented with so many options, so it is best to utilize them.

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