Are Keys Recyclable? (And 6 Clever Ways to Reuse Old Keys)

Almost everyone living in America has a key to themselves. The security we get with our keys kept with us is beyond description.

From our young age, we have believed that we need keys to access many things in this life. And, to be honest, this is the truth. For instance, there is no way you can open your door if you don’t have your keys.

However, if you misplace your keys, that’s all for your lock. You will have to change them. In the same way, if your lock is worn out, your keys no longer become useful.

And since almost everyone living in this country has a key to themselves, we need to worry about these keys.

Theses post provides answers to where these keys end up, how you can recycle them, and how to dispose of them

Follow us to gain better insights.

Can You Recycle Old Keys?

With the many numbers of keys with people, you wonder where the keys finally end up. For environmental concerns, you ask whether you can recycle keys.

Well, for this post, we will attempt to answer these questions.

Yes, you can recycle your keys. One thing you have to understand is that your keys are metal materials. Due to this, they are tagged as recyclables.

However, not all recycling centers have recycling machines for metals. This is why you must confirm with your local recycling center before you designate your keys as recyclable.

Aside from this, you have to be certain where you put your keys for recycling. You can’t just decide to put them in the usual recycling bin. There is a recycling bin for metal materials, and these are the places you can put them.

Nonetheless, it is not all keys that you can recycle. For keys that have rubber handles or plastic, these are difficult to recycle. The reason for this is straightforward. They are a mixture of different incompatible materials; metals and plastic materials.  Due to this, recyclers would have to spend more time sorting them out.

If your keys have controls, there is another problem with recycling. This problem is also similar to the problems faced with keys with plastic and rubber fittings. This, however, does not mean that they are completely useless. There are other things you can do with your keys.

In the next segment, we explain to you how you can make money off your old keys. 

Can You Recycle Keys For Money?

There are many things that you should be able to make money from in this century. Selling old things for cash is not a new thing. But, when it comes to keys, it sounds ridiculous.

There is a lot of value attached to your keys. And one of them is recycling them for money.

How does this work?

You must first understand that not all keys qualify to be in this category. If you have the normal key made with ordinary metal used for opening doors, this may not qualify.

However, if your keys are the more sophisticated ones, you can relax and smile because you can recycle them for money. If your keys are also not in common usage, you can relax and make money.

What you have to do is to locate the recycling that wants to pay you for the keys. One thing, however, is that not many of them are around, so you have to keep searching until you find one.

If your key is a bit sophisticated like those with remote controls, you might get some money. If your keys are the old types of keys like the antique keys, you may also get some money. Also, if you own a railroad key, there is money from it. There is also the elaborated unique key.

All of these different keys are hard to come by, so having them is considered good.

Your bargaining power will determine how much you can make from recycling these keys. So, it has to be topnotch.

In all, always have it in your mind that there is still money you can make off recycling keys.

Is There Any Value To Old Keys?

Whether or not your keys have value will depend on the type of keys you have. The implication of this is that the less common your keys are, the more value they will have.

For instance, if you are fortunate to have some really old antique keys, there is value in them. If your keys are sophisticated, there is value in that too. For instance, if you have a car or door remotely controlled with keys, the keys might be of value.

If you also have railroad key types or elaborate unique keys, you can get value from them.

But the question remains how to get this value. Relax, we will answer that in a jiffy.

Because these keys are scarce, you may have to sell them to those in need of them. These buyers often keep them as treasures or repurpose them. They may also decide to give them out as presents. Whatever may be their reason, your concern is to find the proper buyer and sell.

You may need to put the keys up for sale in some of these online market platforms for this purpose. Usually, the sale of these rare keys occurs through auctions.

The implication of this is that your keys have to be very valuable to get many serious buyers competing for them. The value of these keys connects to many factors. Some of these factors include how long you have been using them or had them. What they weigh and their design are also determining factors. Their present conditions are also one big factor.

So, if your keys check all these boxes, you are good to go.

When you put your keys up for sale, you begin to get interested buyers. Getting great value from your keys demands your negotiating skills must be very strong. You have to project how the keys would be such a precious item for the buyer to have.

You get a price between one dollar and five hundred dollars for the sale of the keys. Of course, the price you get will be a function of how marketable your keys are. Also, the number of keys would determine a lot. Your bargaining skills also contribute partly to what you get.

When selling, you should always factor in the shipping cost. Keys are metal materials, and they can be heavy. Due to this, they may cost more to ship.  You also have to give your keys some good packaging. In the end, you will be responsible for keys that get lost due to bad packaging.

So that’s it. Before you throw your keys away, thinking they have no value, think again. There is a lot of value attached to keys, especially the sophisticated or old keys.

How Do You Dispose of Old Keys?

Not all keys retain their value for a long time. Once you change your home, offices, or store locks, their former keys become useless.

The implication of this is that you might have so many keys you don’t even need of. If this is the situation, then you should know how to dispose of the old keys. In the segment, we walk you through how to do that.

1. Sort Them: The first thing to do is to sort your keys. Look through the bunch of keys you have and put the ones you don’t need again aside. For the one you are unsure of, you can keep them in a safe place.

2. Package Them: If your keys are many, you might want to package them in a paper bag. You can then tape the paper bag and designate it with a marker as old keys.

3. Place Them In The Recycling Bin: The next and final step is to place your packaged keys in the recycling bin. The recycling company would come and get it, and that would be all.

6 Clever Ways To Reuse Old Unwanted Keys

You don’t have to rack your head for what to do with those unwanted keys. Here, we have provided some things to do with your unwanted keys. Enjoy.

1. Give Them Up For Recycling

In today’s world, you can give almost anything up for recycling. Recycling has become more prominent. If you look very well, you will find a recycler around you.

If you have keys and you want to dispose of them, you should give the keys up for recycling. Recycling your old keys is a great way to go in this 21st century. Besides, since you are recycling it, you are also saving the environment.

All you have to do is put the old keys in your recycling bin. You can also put a call to your local recycling center for possible pickup of the keys for recycling.

2. Give Them As Gifts

One easy way to dispose of your old keys is to give the keys as gifts to family and loved ones. Keys can serve as a great present for people in today’s world.

However, before you give your old keys, you have to ensure that they are the precious type of keys. The idea behind gifting a key is to make them have a treasure to cherish. If your old keys are not precious, you should refrain from presenting them as gifts.

In this light, if your keys are the common door keys, you should consider recycling them.

3. Sell Them And Make Some Cash

If the idea of making some cash from selling your old things sounds good to you, then you are good to go.

For your keys, you can sell them out and make money. However, like gifting your old keys, you have to ensure they are the very rare types of keys when selling.  Always understand that the older and non-common your keys, the more money you would get.

4. Use It To Reach Tight Corners

Use can always use your old keys to reach tight corners and scrape out dirt. When cleaning, you can use your old keys to ensure that no more dirt is lurking where your cleaning materials can’t reach.

5. Use As Zipper

You could experience a situation where your bag’s zipper breaks off suddenly. When this happens, use your old key to replace it. Simple fit the opening on the key to the zip edge, and you are good to go.

6. Use As Screw Driver

You can use your key to drive screws in and out of your home appliances. This comes in handy if you can’t find where you put your screwdrivers. The fun part is that it works for both star and plain-headed screws.


Keys are precious as they give access to many closed places. But when they have lost their usefulness, you don’t have any business with them again. Employ any of the above ways to get rid of old keys and enjoy a good life.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.