Can You Recycle Fiber Optic Cable? (And Various Uses of it?)

The importance of fiber optic cables in today’s world cannot be overemphasized. It makes life easier through the many functions it offers. That’s right; it’s pretty versatile.

If you want to transfer a ton of data within minutes, you can use a fiber optic cable because it transfers it in the form and at the speed of light. Therefore, it comes in handy in various fields, and more particularly to the individual user.

As such, you may find yourself with quite a collection of fiber optic cables. Now, the issue of its disposal comes up. What’s the proper and environmentally friendly way to dispose of fiber optic cables? Can you recycle fiber optic cables?

That’s what we aim to answer in this article. If you’d also like more information about what you can use it for and creative ways to dispose of it, then please read on. Let’s get right into it!

Can Fiber Optic Cables be Recycled?

Suppose you’ve ever wondered how it’s usually so fast for your cable to transfer gigabytes of information at such short notice. In that case, it’s because of the hundreds of plastic or glass fibers intertwined for this purpose.

They’re then placed in a plastic coating for protection. These wires can run for hundreds of miles across the land, underneath it, and even through the ocean.

Internet service providers use them to deliver data, cable providers use them too, and the same goes for mobile phone services. Taking it further, fiber optic cables are also important to dentists; they need them for some of their equipment.

Now, despite the flexibility of optical fiber cables, they are also susceptible to wear and tear. So we can’t use them forever.

So, before the advent of recycling, these cables always had to make their way to landfills. Even when recycling became a major option, it was still relatively impossible to recycle a fiber optic cable.

That was a challenge because of the complexity of its composition. There are many materials used to make a fiber optic cable; you can see that from the complexity of the services it offers. It’s almost unrivaled – how small cables can transfer so much information and offer additional services.

Thankfully, several companies are coming up with innovative ways to recycle fiber optic cables. Now, they don’t have to spend several centuries on our landfills. It’s been submitted that the cables sent to the landfills decades ago are still there and are estimated to be there for another five centuries at least.

Despite their small sizes, they are very difficult to break down. At the very best, they’ll become susceptible to extreme weather conditions and time factors – no microorganism will be able to decompose them.

Well, now that you know you can recycle your fiber optic cables, you should also know that curbside or local recycling centers don’t accept them. You’ll hardly find metal and other recycling companies that take on these cables too. The best option is a company that specializes in recycling fiber optic cables.

You can find them on the internet.

Can You Scrap Fiber Optic Cable?

Absolutely! If you’ve got a reasonable amount of these cables, you can scrap them. They have scrap value as long as you know where to look.

You can choose to sell them to individuals or companies. But of course, to sell to companies, you need a pretty large amount. They hardly deal in small quantities.

So, if you have some cables that have been used, leftover from an installation, or offcut, you can check the internet for a cable recycling company looking to buy them off you.

Various Uses of Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables are far preferred to copper cables for several reasons. Those reasons have made these cables so popular across industries. Some of the uses of fiber optic cables include the following:

1. The Internet

This is probably the use everyone is familiar with. For your internet connections, fiber optic cables are handier. They are speedy carriers of data; that’s why you get a fast internet connection these days.

They’re also flexible, pretty light, and not as bulky as copper wires. But, of course, it also helps that fiber optic cables can travel miles without obstruction.

2. The Automobile Industry

Did you know that automobile manufacturers rely heavily on fiber optic cables? These cables make transmitting signals between the parts of the vehicle much faster, making them suitable components for automobile safety features.

Fiber optic cables are used for both the internal and external lighting features of automobiles, and they can provide sufficient light even in small spaces.

3. Lighting and Decorations

Your Christmas lights run on fiber optic cables! These cables are small and swift enough to transmit light from one bulb to all the others within seconds, contributing to the thrill of Christmas lights. Just imagine if you had to wait patiently for each bulb to come on on its own.

4. Military Applications

Because of the swift speed fiber optic cables use to transmit information, the military also relies heavily on them. As a result, they can be used to transmit sensitive information within a very short time.

They also come in super handy for aerospace applications.

5. Cable TV

Fiber optic cables are the cheaper and better option for transmitting cable signals. In addition, they have fast speeds, which make them suitable for transmitting signals to Hd televisions.

6. Telecommunications

Communicating within the country and abroad has never been smoother and more efficient, and that’s because of the light-speed fiber optic cables used to transmit information between two mobile phones.

These cables can also travel for miles without failing. They can go underground, on the surface of the ground, and even through water routes.

7. Medical Uses

Non-intrusive surgical procedures are fast becoming the trend. They make it possible for you to avoid the incisions that used to be inevitable for surgical procedures.

Now, endoscopy uses some handy machines with small bright lights to perform these procedures. Of course, fiber optic cables facilitate these processes.

They can also be used for research in microscopy and biomedical areas.

8. Computer Uses

We’re all also likely familiar with this use for fiber optic cables. They’re those cables that enable you to transfer gigabytes of information from one system to another within minutes. But, of course, you can transfer data that’s not this heavy within seconds.

There are many other uses of fiber optic cables, but these are the more common ones.

How Do You Dispose of Fiber Optic Cable?

Despite the durability of fiber optic cables, they’ll eventually need to be replaced. Alternatively, it’s not impossible to have an excess supply of these cables from a purchase or installment.

Of course, you’ll have to dispose of them one way or another, and as always, we recommend the environmentally friendly one. So, to aid your adherence to this recommendation, we’ll explore several ways to dispose of your unwanted wire cables. Let’s get started!

1. Scrap it

This is one of the reliable and constant ways to get rid of unwanted items. You can either choose to donate your excess or old fiber optic cables to a scrap collector or sell them.

Now, selling is a bit tricky as you’ll have to find a collector who’s willing to buy. You can find these collectors on the internet, and some of them are willing to pay a reasonable sum to take the cables off your hands.

You can also visit your local scrapyard to find out if they accept fiber optic cables. These cables could also be useful to computer or hardware repair stores.

2. Recycle it

Another alternative is to recycle your unwanted fiber optic cables. This is also tricky because the companies that recycle these materials are just developing, and as such, they aren’t many yet.

However, it’s nothing an internet search won’t provide answers to. You could also find ways to recycle these materials on your own. A good example is to upcycle them, and we’ll provide a few hacks subsequently.

3. Donate it

Now, here’s another option. To start with, you can reach out to any family member or friend who could need these cables.

If you have an excess and substantial supply of fiber optic cables, you can donate them to cable companies, telecommunication companies, and upstart fiber cable companies, to name a few. You could also decide to donate them to scrap collectors.

4. Fiber optic cable ceilings

Are you a lover of fantasies? If you are, this is an opportunity to use your fiber optic cables to create your dream bedroom.

As we mentioned earlier, these cables are excellent light conductors. That’s why they come in pretty handy for decorations and lighting, automobile uses and even uses in some other industries that need a swift supply of light in a small space.

So, you can attach these cables to your ceiling to provide the most mesmerizing starry ceiling. However, if you’re not a handy person, you may have some difficulty with this hack. As such, we suggest that you hire someone who can make this dream come true for you.

When you have these cables fixed to your ceiling, they’ll provide you with the perfect milky way when you turn off your light. If you’re by chance good at affixing them to your ceiling, you could also monetize that skill and make even more money by combining it with your leftover optic fiber cables.

5. Fiber Optic Cable Dresses

Again, if you aren’t handy, you may have some difficulty trying this hack alone. The essence is to show you that your fiber optic cables don’t have to go to waste. Here, you can hire the services of a fashion designer to create this dress for you.

It’s simply a dress with attached fiber optic cables that’ll glow in the dark or come on when they’re activated.

6. Fiber Optic Cable Hairpins

Did you know that you can also create unique hairpins that have their lighting system with your old fiber optic cables? Well, now you do!

You need some hairpins, a glue gun, and the cables. Then, you can cut them into sizes that’ll suit the shape and size of your hairpin.

These make excellent gift ideas because they’re both homemade, thoughtful, and unique. But, of course, you could also choose to sell them; they’ll certainly be worth something because of their uniqueness and creativity.


Having materials in excess has never been an issue. After all, it’s not always possible to accurately gauge just the right amount. If you also have materials you want to dispose of, it’s only right to follow the right medium.

In this regard, we’ve adequately delved into how you can recycle and upcycle fiber optic cables. If you didn’t know what they were before, well, now you do. So please, use this information to make informed choices.

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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.