Are Window Blinds Recyclable? Everything You Need to Know
If you’re wondering whether window blinds are recyclable, the answer is… sometimes. Mostly, it depends on the types of blinds that you have, as well as what types of materials your local recycling center accepts. As a general rule, it’s better (and easier) to see if you have a friend or family member you can donate your blinds to before dismantling them and trying to recycle the parts.
Here are the types of blinds that can and can’t be recycled:
How to Recycle Mini Blinds
Yes, you can recycle some types of mini blinds. If they’re made from aluminum, this material is accepted at basically every major recycling plant. If they’re made of PVC, you’ll need to call ahead and see whether or not your local plant will accept them. You’ll probably need to disassemble the blinds and remove the fabric cords before dropping them off at the plant.
How to Recycle Wood Blinds
No, you can’t recycle wood blinds. This is because recycling plants can’t accept wood that has been treated or painted. Instead, you should donate your wood blinds to someone else who needs them, or take them apart and upcycle them instead. Wood blinds are an especially good material for DIY projects. We rounded up some ideas for them at the end of this article.
How to Recycle Faux Wood Blinds
No, you can’t recycle faux wood blinds. This is because they are made from a mixture of wood and PVC that can’t be processed again. As with regular wood blinds, faux wood blinds can be donated or upcycled via DIY projects. If the blinds are in good condition, donating them is probably the best route.
How to Recycle Roman Shades and Curtains
No, Roman shades can’t be recycled, but they can be donated at a clothing drop-off. However, you should see if any of your friends wants them first—higher end window coverings are usually in demand. If you still like the style of blinds but have tired of the fabric, you can re-cover them in a new material that’s more suited to your current tastes. If you’re completely done with Roman shades, remove the fabric from the hardware. You can reuse the fabric for sewing projects, or drop it off at a clothing donation place or a textile recycler. Make sure to drop off any metal hardware at your regular recycler, too.
How to Recycle Cellular Shades
No, you can’t recycle cellular shades, but you can drop them off at a clothing donation store. Cellular shades are made from 100 percent polyester fabric, which can’t be processed by regular recycling plants. However, the fabric can be shredded and used for filler or insulation. You’ll have to take the blinds apart and donate the hardware separately. As always, it’s better to try donating your cellular blinds first before dismantling them.
How to Recycle Woven Wooden Blinds
No, you can’t recycle woven wooden blinds. This is because most bamboo blinds are made with treated wood, which cannot be recycled. Even if the wood hasn’t been treated, the thread in woven wooden blinds will mess up the recycling processor. Thankfully, there are many great looking DIY projects that repurpose bamboo blinds, including wall art, beach mats, placemats, garden screens and more. And if you do decide to throw them out, bamboo blinds are almost completely biodegradable.
If you’ve decided that you would rather upcycle your blinds than recycle or donate them, try out some of these craft projects:
- Picture frame made from wooden or PVC blinds
- Plant markers made from wooden blinds
- Woven storage bins made from PVC mini blinds
- Sunburst mirror made from wooden blinds
- Wall hanging made from woven wooden blinds
- Bookmarks made from wooden blinds
- Picket fence decorative planters made from wood or faux wood blinds
- Drawer dividers made from wood or faux wood blinds
- Gift tags made from faux wood blinds
- Mini trellis made from wood blinds
- Wooden star wall art made from wood blinds
- Lampshade made from woven wood blinds
If you’re wondering whether or not various blinds can be recycled, keep this guide on hand for easy reference. Remember that you should always try to donate your blinds to a friend before going to the trouble of dismantling them and recycling. If you’re in the market for new blinds and worried about their environmental impact, shop for eco-friendly window shades such as bamboo.