Can You Recycle Headphones? 

Music is a relief for the soul, and, most times, we need to listen alone and feel the art in it to get the best from the music. To do this, many of us often resort to using headphones. These headphones have a way of making us feel the music in different and renewed ways, even if we have listened to it multiple times. This pretty much explains why many people have come to fall in love with it.

But then, falling in love with headphones and using them often has raised a lot of concern for the environment. Many environmentalists have raised concerns that if these headphones are not handled properly, they might be a problem for the environment.

To know whether this concern is valid, this post examines how these headphones might be affecting the environment. It also examines some safety concerns and what to do with old headphones. There’s no doubt that this post will be loaded. This is why you should pay maximum concentration to get the best from it.

Are Headphones Recyclable?

Thinking about it now, recycling your headphones may be the last thing in your mind. But then, because of the wave of environmental consciousness, you must consider the possibility of this. So, let’s walk you through the answer.

Yes, you can recycle your headphones. The reason this is possible is that headphones have been largely made with recyclable materials. Some of these materials include plastics, metals, papers, rubber, silicone, copper, aluminum, and foam.

Individually, these materials are easy to recycle. However, when they have been brought together to make headphones, there is a problem caused for recycling. This is because these different materials require different recycling processes. As such, they need to be dismantled before the materials are recycled separately.

Not many recycling stations are willing to take the trouble of separating the different materials before recycling. Due to this, they have excluded the recycling of headphones from the list of their recyclable materials.

This, however, does not mean that you cannot find recycling stations that would be willing to accept your headphones in whole for recycling. You just might have to widen your search to get one.

Besides the usual recycling stations, you can look out for organizations with a special recycling program for headphones. These organizations would be glad to have your old headphones. Some of these organizations with good recycling program are;

  • JLab; you can read about their recycling program for headphones
  • ThinkSound; you can read about their recycling program for headphones

Aside from these two, you can search for other organizations with recycling programs for headphones on the internet.

Lastly, if you cannot get your headphones recycled, you can give them to the local Hazardous Waste Management Authority. This is because headphones are considered as electronic materials, which fall under hazardous waste.

Can You Throw Away Headphones In The Garbage?

One of the best things that come without stress is throwing things away. And to be honest, the first thing that comes to mind is the garbage. But then, there has been sensitization that not all things belong to the garbage because of their effect on the environment. This is why we should always check our possession before throwing them away.

Regarding headphones, can you throw them away? Let’s find out together.

It is possible to throw your headphones away, but this action has great consequences for the environment. If you throw your headphones in the garbage, they often end up in the landfills. In the landfill, these headphones take a lot of time to break down and might even release toxic materials into the environment. Recall that these headphones might have been made with plastics like PVC, which is not only toxic but takes an extremely long time to break down.

Before these plastics break down, which can be up to a thousand years, different things can happen. For instance, due to their light weights, the headphones could be washed off to the sea, where they would cause danger to the aquatic animals.

Besides, even after they seem to have broken down in the landfill, they still cause a lot of problems. Plastics from the headphones, for instance, do not disappear entirely from the environment. They turn to microplastics which remain in the soil and reduce the soil nutrient or stunt plants’ growth.

Due to this, you should refrain from dropping your headphones in the garbage. If you feel your headphones are not good again, you can try to repair them. If they are damaged and can’t be repaired, you still shouldn’t drop them in the garbage. Recall that these headphones are electronic materials that are classified as hazardous materials. As such, they are to be handled carefully to avoid hazards. The best thing to do is to give them out to your local Hazardous Waste Management Authority. This way, you are ensuring that the environment is kept safe.

In all, putting your headphones in the garbage is not an idea that helps the environment. You can help the environment by disposing of your headphones for recycling or give to your local Hazardous Waste Management Authority.

Are Headphones Bad For You?

Even though you enjoy using headphones, it is still very important to consider whether this impacts you.

Yes, headphones may be bad for you. Unhealthy use of headphones can cause hearing loss for you. This is a rising concern for society, especially as hearing loss instances have been rampant among your people. Research has shown that about one in four adults in the USA has hearing loss due to headphones’ unhealthy use.

This might not be clear to you if you don’t know what’s considered unhealthy use of headphones. Let’s take a look at it.

According to the CDC, exposure to sound above 85dB for about two hours can cause hearing loss. Exposure to sound between 105dB and 110dB for just five minutes can lead to hearing loss.

For healthy use, your headphones should not go beyond 75dB. With this, there is no likely going to be any effect.

What To Do With Broken Headphones?

If your headphones are broken, you might be concerned about what to do with them. It is natural for you to be worried, but relax, let’s tell you what to do with them.

Having broken headphones is not the end. If you think your headphones have been severely damaged, you can give them up for recycling.

If they are not entirely damaged, you can do some crafty things with them. Some of the things you can make with your broken headphones include;

  • Speaker
  • Microphone
  • Lavalier Mic

All these might be confusing, so we have provided some information about how to make these things. Check the steps here.

What To Do With Old Headphones?

As humans, we often develop affection for the things we possess that it sometimes becomes difficult for us to dispose of them or do something else with them. This is very well understood, but it is not just possible to keep a possession forever.

If you are considering what to do with your old headphones, you don’t have to worry too much; this segment will show you the best things you can do with them.

1. Recycle Them

In everything that we do, we must always give good prior consideration to the environment. Deciding to recycle your headphones is a way of saving the environment from ill-disposed materials that could have damaged it. Though there are not many local recycling stations accepting headphones, this does not mean that you won’t find one in your state or the country. You can mail these recycling stations on how to get your headphones to their centers; we are sure they have a program for that.

2. Sell Them

If you want to make some cool cash, selling your old headphones may the thing you need to try out. There are many people out there who would not mind paying you a few dollars for those headphones, especially if they are of high quality. So, if you have got your headphones in good working conditions, you can put them out for sale. We are sure you will get a good deal. You can also check around you for some thrift store to collect your headphones in exchange for some dollars.

3. Take Them Back To The Manufacturer

Taking your old headphones to the manufacturer is another viable option you can adopt. The manufacturers of headphones always have a collection policy for old headphones. You should phone the company beforehand to know their collection policy and how to get the headphones to their office. By doing this, you are disposing of your headphones the right way and also saving the environment.

4. Donate Them

Donating old things is not something new in today’s world. With your headphones, you can also make some donations to centers that are ready to take them. If you don’t know where to donate, you can check out places like The Salvation Army and The Goodwill. These two places are drop-off centers, which are always glad to take possession of your headphones donations.

Kindly note that you should ensure that they are in good working conditions when donating your headphones. This is because donating is to allow others to use the headphones and not just dispose of them. So, make your donations count by giving out headphones in good conditions.

5. Gift Them

If you don’t want to donate your headphones to people outside your circle, you can look inwards and still gift those headphones. No doubt, there would be one or two people who would be happy to have possession of your headphones within your circle, especially the youth. You can ask among your friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family members for those who need headphones.

Please note that when you want to gift your headphones, you should ensure that they are in good working condition. Remember that you are not gifting them to dispose of them; you are doing so, so that others can have good use of the headphones.

6. Upcycle Them

Who says you can’t do creative things with your headphones? Of course, there are many ways you can repurpose your headphones, and they will still be useful to you. You can check Pinterest for some of the creative things you can do with your old headphones.


To many people, headphones are crucial daily accessories. Even if you don’t fancy them, there are situations where you may have to use those headphones to listen in on something. Whatever may be the case for you, the important thing is that you should not handle your headphones in a way that would harm the environment. To help you achieve this is why we have provided valid information above. You can contribute positively to the environment by disposing of your headphones the right way.

Share on:

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.