How to Recycle Old Pots and Pans: 13 Ideas to Reuse Them In An Original Way

When a pot or pan becomes too old and worn out to be used on the stove, it can be recycled in an original way to create new useful items for the home.

By Cookist

Everyone would like the pots and pans to last forever, but using them on the stove they inevitably wear out until they become unusable. Some non-stick frying pans or pots, over time also lose their main characteristic and the consumption of non-stick coating could be carcinogenic. Throwing them away is certainly the most immediate action, and most of the cookware is made of metal, therefore recyclable, but door-to-door recycling programs do not always accept them. Fortunately, there are many clever ways to reuse old pots and pans.

Old pots and pans can have new life: you can choose to turn them into something useful for the home, like an ornamental flowerpot, a lamp or a container. Recycling old pots and pans, even if possible, is often more complex than simple door-to-door service. In fact, only about 5% of door-to-door programs accept scrap metals. By a legal point of view, to recycle pots and pans you need to know if the pot or pan is made of ferrous or non-ferrous metal. Most cookware is made of non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium, copper or stainless steel. But you must also see if these old pots and pans attract a magnet: in this case, they are made of ferrous metals that cannot be normally recycled. Furthermore, when the pot or pan is coated with polytetrafluoroethylene (such as those ones of the Teflon brand), recycling may be more “limited” as the coating should be removed before recycling. When you decide to throw away a metal utensil, it is in fact necessary to be sure that teflon-coated pots are accepted. In short, in many cases reuse can be easier and more convenient than recycling (and it can also be useful for the home).


With old pots and pans you can create new useful objects:

– A pot can be transformed into a comfortable kitchen stool simply by welding four metal feet;

– You can use some old pots to create a ceiling chandelier, or you can make an original lamp;

– A frying pan can become a wall mirror or a work of art;

– Pans and pots of ferrous metal can be used as magnets for post-it and other memories;

Lids can become kitchen hangers or garden trays;

– You can turn a frying pan into an atmospheric lamp or an hanging container;

– Some pans can become a centrepiece;

– You can turn a worn out pot into a vase or into a home/garden decoration;

As you can see, there are many original ways to reuse old cookware.

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