Are Magnets Recyclable? (And Are They Biodegradable?)

We certainly cannot do without magnets. Even though we may not know it, magnets are essential parts of most electronic devices that we own; ranging from our refrigerators to our mobile phones and even down to our computers.

Did you know that some duvets need magnets to hold them in place? Even our fashion accessories like jewelry and cute little purses have magnets in them. It also isn’t uncommon for people to send out save the date cards with cute magnets attached to them.

Beyond taking apart your electronic devices, there are many places you can find magnets in your home. Which begs the question- how do you dispose of all the magnets you no longer need? Do they go in the green or black bin?

Well, we have created this blog post to help you answer these questions and even a couple more you didn’t know you had. So, dive right in!

Can you Recycle Magnets?

A great substitute for sticky notes is magnets. You need a small magnet and a piece of paper and you are good to go; it’s quite easy for you to attach it to your fridge. That way, even when you run out of sticky notes, if you use them, you can still have a way to remember some details or leave instructions for your kids.

If you have ever taken apart an old set of speakers, surely you must have found a couple of huge magnets in them? Sure, you had fun with them for a while, but now, you have run out of things to do with them.

So how do you dispose of the magnets you don’t need anymore? If you are concerned about the environment, your first choice would be to recycle magnets. Ordinarily, if you don’t take apart your electronic devices with magnets in them, you can recycle them where e-waste gets recycled in your community.

This means you may have to hand-deliver these items to e-waste recycling companies or even have them pick them up. Some communities arrange for special days where everyone brings their e-waste to a particular location, and the materials are collated and delivered to e-waste recycling companies.

Another method of disposing of or your e-waste materials is by taking them to computer repair or hardware stores. Some of them accept these materials and work on fixing them or taking them apart and either selling the parts or using them as replacements.

Now, those options are for when you haven’t taken those devices apart. If you have, well, the option of recycling is no longer available. You certainly cannot recycle magnets. For one, they are made from metals and other substances, so the basic recycling center won’t accept them.

They are also quite heavy and can rarely be taken apart. They are most definitely not compostable either, so if you are looking to dispose of your useless magnets, they have to go in the black bin.

Are Magnets Biodegradable?

Biodegradable materials are determined based on what they are made from. If the parent material isn’t biodegradable, then certainly, the end product won’t be biodegradable.

You also have to estimate how long it will take for these materials to decompose or get broken down by microorganisms. Materials that take long are not biodegradable, and sometimes, even when they have taken a long time to get broken down, the process doesn’t happen completely. They just disintegrate into smaller pieces and remain that way for ages.

Magnets cannot be broken down by microorganisms, and they take about one hundred years to get broken down into smaller pieces. These features make them non-biodegradable. Throwing them in the trash just means they would end up sitting in our landfills for ages before they finally get broken into smaller pieces.

Are Magnets Eco Friendly?

Well, the way to determine eco friendly materials is quite simple. Manufacturers make them from materials that can be replenished before they run out; they are usually renewable natural resources. It is safe to say that materials made from renewable natural resources are most times eco friendly.

Also, for an item to be regarded as eco friendly, it has to be made in a way that doesn’t cause pollution to the environment. Materials that go through rigorous manufacturing processes aren’t always eco friendly because some of these industrial machines generate a lot of smoke which is bad for the environment.

Sometimes, waste chemicals and toxins are also released into the environment during or after these materials are produced. An eco friendly material is produced in a way that keeps the environment safe.

Now, it is safe to say that magnets aren’t eco friendly. They are made from metals like iron, nickel and cobalt. These metals have to be cured, melted and pulverized before they can acquire that magnetic force we are all familiar with.

Of course, a process like this certainly means that a lot of fuel will be burnt, and waste chemicals will be released into the environment. The process of making magnets isn’t eco-friendly, and as a result, magnets aren’t eco-friendly. They are, however, essential materials.

Are Magnets Flammable?

Have you ever tried setting a kitchen towel on fire? It doesn’t even have to be a kitchen towel; it could be anything that has considerably lightweight. How quickly did it go up in flames?

Well, it must have caught on fire so fast that your heart probably skipped a beat. That is what it means to be flammable. It caught on fire so fast because the materials used in making it are light materials that catch on fire easily.

We can’t say the same for magnets. They are certainly not flammable. Magnets are made from metals, and it is general knowledge that metals do not catch on fire.

Sure, they can get really hot fast, and if you touch them at this point, they may burn hurt you. Aside from their ability to heat up quite fast, they cannot catch on fire.

If metals are exposed to a very high temperature, the effect it will have is that they will end up melting. However, if a flammable material like a wad of toilet paper is exposed to a very high temperature, it will go up in flames in a matter of moments.

So, magnets are not flammable. However, they tend to get very hot when exposed to a strong heat source. After getting very hot, the next thing is the melting point. Magnets will not catch on fire, they will merely melt.

6 Surprising Ways to Reuse Old Magnets

Now that we know that we cannot recycle our old magnets, what do we do with them? Of course, the option of binning it is always on ground, but why not follow these amazing and creative ideas we have collated for you?

We bet you would have a lot of fun trying these out. Enjoy these great ways to dispose of your old magnets without really contributing to the waste materials at our landfills.

1. Glass Pebble Magnets

Glass pebble magnets are interesting crafts you can engage in with your kids or friends. For this craft, you need a bag of glass marbles, a glue gun, a circle hole punch, and of course, your magnets.

The circle hole punch is for cutting out the themes you would put in your glass pebble magnets. Be sure to select an appealing theme. The best part is you can gift out these items when you are done making them.

They can be used to hold things in place, stick things to your refrigerator and as decorations for your house.

2. Makeup Organizers

Here’s a tip that would blow your mind and help you optimize space. Surely, you must have several small magnets. You could even use the refrigerator magnets you have been meaning to dispose of.

Attach these magnets to the bottom of your makeup products using a glue gun. You can then attach these products to any metallic surface. They will definitely stay in place and give you more free space on your makeup table.


Bookmarks are becoming quite easy to make at home. Here, you need your favorite picture, a glue gun and an old magnet. You can simply attach the old magnet to the picture and use it as a bookmark.

The best part is, they are also great gifting ideas. If you have a couple of friends that enjoy reading, you can gift them these homemade bookmarks. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to use pictures. There are a ton of things you can use; just be sure that they are things you can easily attach a magnet to.

4. Your Trash Bags Need ‘Em

We are sure that you can relate to your trash bags folding over and collapsing into the trash can after dumping a few things in there. It certainly can be a bother to have to dip your hands in the trash and adjust the trash bag frequently.

Now, here’s what you can do. Why not fold the edges of the trash bag over the trash can and make them stay using your old magnets? This works when you have a metal trash can.

5. Kids’ Cup Holders

Kids love water! If you want to encourage your kids to drink water, and also keep them from coming to get you every single time they need water and can’t reach the cabinet for their favorite cups, you need this tip.

You can attach a couple of magnets to their kiddies cups using a glue gun. You can then attach these cups to your water dispenser or fridge. Be sure to attach them at a level that your kids can easily reach.

6. Pin Holders

Now, this fantastic tip is for people who enjoy sewing. Fashion designing requires the use of a lot of pins; to hold fabric pieces together, to stick pieces to your mannequin and many other purposes you are well aware of. Well, why not save your next set of old magnets instead of binning them?

Magnets are great holders for pins. They would keep them in place in a way that is guaranteed to not injure anyone. The pins would also be easy to reach. You could put these magnets in cute little bowls to improve on the aesthetics.


A great way to dispose of items we don’t need anymore is to recycle them. This way, we are conserving our renewable and non-renewable resources and saving them for when we absolutely need them. However, there are special cases where recycling isn’t an option.

These items end up going to our landfills and taking up space there, and that’s why we have created this blog post especially for you. Now, you have access to really fun ways to dispose of your old magnets without harming the environment. We hope you enjoy trying out these ideas and look forward to the tales you have to tell!


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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.