Good Question: Can I Recycle or Fix Up Old Knives?

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How can I dispose of old kitchen knives?  I bought a set of knives a couple of years ago and they have since dulled and rusted.  I'm not sure if it's a good idea to just throw them in the garbage.  I would normally try to make do with them, but I received a better set of knives as a gift recently and kind of wanted to clear out my kitchen drawer.

- Malaika 

Malaika, we think this is a great opportunity to recycle or donate the knives - perhaps to a friend who is just setting up her kitchen, or to a thrift store charity. We assume they're steel, and not stainless steel (from the rusting) - so why not scrub them down and have them sharpened? If they are sharpened and clean, they would make a good donation item, and it would keep them out of the landfill a little longer!

If they are in really bad shape, though - totally unusable - we would wrap them securely in several layers of newspaper and trash bags (to keep any sharp edges from poking through) and pitch them.

Any other thoughts on recycling or donating?

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.