Can You Recycle Door Knobs? (Find Out Now!)

Jessica Vaillancourt
by Jessica Vaillancourt

The time has come for a door remodeling project in your home. If you’re installing new doors, or upgrading your door handles, you might not know what to do with the old door knobs. While you’re happy to have updated fixtures, you might be asking yourself if you can recycle door knobs.

You CAN recycle metal door knobs by packaging and dropping them off at your local recycling facility. Most commercial door knobs are made of brass, which can be melted down and repurposed. If your local recycling facility doesn’t recycle them, find a scrap metal center that will pay to collect your old door knobs. Or upcycle them yourself.

What are Door Knobs Made Of?

Most mass produced door knobs on the market are made of brass. Brass is a metal material that melts down into the alloy components of copper and zinc or nickel. These metals are highly recyclable materials.

Door knobs don’t always come in metals, though. There are options for every visual and economic taste. Wood was the original material door knobs were made of, and you can still buy these today. Other types of door knobs in the market include:

  • Wooden 
  • Ceramic
  • Glass door 
  • Resin 

Many of these are elegant, vintage, and visually pleasing, but are not recyclable like metal door knobs. Wood and organic resin materials are more compostable than metal, but less recyclable. Manufacturers treat wooden door knobs with chemicals. These chemicals will contaminate the recycling process.

How to Dispose of Door Knobs

If your door knob is made of metal, your local recycling center will likely accept these for recycling. Most recycling facilities will recycle metals, and metal door knobs are highly recyclable since they don’t have added components or hazardous chemicals. Here are various ways you can dispose of door knobs.

Contact Your Local Recycling Center

Before doing anything, you need to figure out where your old door knobs are going. It’s always the most environmentally friendly decision to recycle these if possible. Are your door knobs made of metal? You can reduce the carbon footprint of metals by dropping them off at your local recycling center.

If your local recycling facility recycles door knobs, you should not place them in your normal recycling bin. If you mix them in with the rest of your recycling, they may get lost in the shuffle or sent to the landfill. Instead, box or package up all the old door knobs. Then drop them off at the designated location within the recycling facility.

Find a Scrap Metal Company Near You

What if your recycling center does not take old metal door knobs? The next best thing is to find a scrap metal company in your area. Scrap metal recycling facilities will pay you for various metals, like brass, copper, aluminum, and iron. By selling your metal door knobs to a scrap metal center, you are preventing them from ending up in a landfill while making extra cash.

If your door knobs are a ferrous metal (if a magnet sticks to them, they’re ferrous!), they won’t be worth too much. But if your door knobs are made of a non-ferrous metal (not magnetic), they might be worth a good amount. Brass is considered a non-ferrous alloy.

Tip: The more matching door knobs or other metals you can bring at once, the better your payout will be. So if you can, try to bring a whole door knob set along with other scrap metal that may be of value.

Throw Them Away or Donate Them

If you simply cannot find a local recycling or scrap metal company that accepts your door knobs, you may have to trash them. Unfortunately, there are not many opportunities to recycle ceramic, resin, glass, or wood door knobs. If you’ve exhausted all your options, you can place them in with your regular garbage for curbside pickup or dump dropoff.

But one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. While you may not have use for your old door knobs, others may find them beautiful additions to their home decor. Consider donating them to your local thrift or consignment shop with a home goods section. Examples include Goodwill and Savers.

Ways to Upcycle Old Door Knobs

Do you have a creative touch? You can upcycle old door knobs that have some visual appeal. Find a DIY project you like, and turn your old door knobs into some new decor for your home. Here are just a few ideas to get you inspired:

  • Turn your door knobs into coat hangers for the mud room.
  • Screw them into your bedroom wall to hang hats, ties, or scarves.
  • Paint them into beautiful jewelry organizers and necklace hangers.
  • Mount them on the wall and hang framed photos from them using twine.
  • Use them as feet for stands, tables, or trays.

Hopefully you feel inspired to use your old door knobs effectively and creatively. It’s always best to find ways to recycle, reuse, upcycle, or donate objects like this. They can be functional, visually appealing, or melted down and used for other things. You can even make some cash by bringing them to a metal scrap yard.

Related Questions

How does a door knob work?

A basic door knob set consists of two knobs, one for each side of the door, connected by a spindle. Mounting bolts hold these together. When the door knob turns, the spindle retracts the latch, and the door opens up. But of course, there are many variations of the door knob mechanism, such as a lever set. 

What door knobs are popular?

Door knob trends come and go, but you may want to know more about what’s in style. Graphite or brushed nickel, long, cubic door handles, dummy door knobs, and black matte door knobs are trendy options.

Why are door knobs made of brass?

Door knobs are usually made of brass because this material is affordable, durable, and recyclable. This alloy metall is not prone to deterioration like wood door knobs, or cracking and shattering like ceramic and glass door knobs.

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Jessica Vaillancourt
Jessica Vaillancourt

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