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Where Can I Recycle......Glasses

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If your prescription has changed or you have a pair of specs which you no longer use, how can you dispose of them? They cannot be recycled through kerbside collection, or taken to a recycling centre, so how can you avoid sending them to landfill?

If you like the frames but need a new presription, your optician should be able to take your old frames and swap out the lenses. This only works if you have a spare pair to use in the meantime of course!

If your local optician can't do this, online optician Framesavers will put new lenses in your favourite frames.

Please do not donate unwanted spectacles to your local charity shop unless they specifically request them. Most cannot resell glasses - or sunglasses - with prescription lenses, so they will just end up in the bin.

If you don't wish to reuse your frames, there are a number of charities which could use your glasses, usually sending them overseas to people who need glasses but for whom they are unaffordable.

Here are some of the places where you can donate your unwanted spectacles for charity.

  • The best know organisation to which you can donate them is Vision Aid Overseas. Your glasses can be left at opticians throughout the country and they will be sent to the developing world. You can donate them at many branches of Vision Express, Specsavers and Boots Opticians as well as many independant opticians.
  • Lions Clubs around the UK collect spectacles for reuse via Chichester Lions. Visit for more details on how and where to send them. The Lions Club International also have national glasses collection programmes in the US and Australia.

Last updated 30th July 2014

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