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What To Do with Old Frying Pans – Dont Throw It Away

Do you have several old frying pans collecting dust in a cabinet?

Maybe it’s one of your grandma’s treasures, or it’s just from another era that you can’t even remember.

Either way, it’s sensible to have an idea of what to do with old frying pans, right?

Like everything else, frying pans surely don’t last forever.

Considering the amount of cooking that goes on in an average home, these items wear out over time, and end up in the trash sooner than we think.

Depending on the material used to make them (copper, cast iron etc.), some old frying pans may still be in pretty good condition.

However, people often replace them with nicer and newer designs.

We often see new stainless steel, Teflon coated, or dishwasher safe frying pans on the market.

This makes it to where those old ones start looking like a handful.

And then they are just left in dusty old drawers or behind other clutter, collecting dust and becoming useless to you and your family.

So what can you do with them?

Can you throw old frying pans in the garbage cans?

A pertinent question would be, can you throw old frying pans in the garbage cans?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.

You can’t just throw them away with other household waste you have at home.

It’s rather unfortunate that these items can’t just be thrown away like an empty tin can or a plastic bottle.

The reason is simple.

These objects are made of metal, or other materials related to metal like aluminum, steel or copper.

When you toss your unwanted frying pans in the garbage bin, they’ll eventually find their way into a landfill somewhere.

There, the pans will take so many years to break down.

And even after they finally break down, the metallic components remain on the soil posing a great risk of contamination.

Other than that, the non-stick coating is also left behind on the soil.

Now you might not have realized that the non-stick coating on your frying pans is a different grade of plastic.

The impact of plastic material on the environment is well-known as its one of the major pollutants we are facing today.

Similar to other forms of plastic, these non-stick coatings on your old frying pans contain harmful chemicals and materials that will leach into the soil and pollute the environment for many years to come.

This is where the conclusion comes in – you can’t just throw them in the garbage or dump them.

What then, is the alternative solution?

Let’s get to it.

What to do with old frying pans

Concerns over the state of our environment are on the rise, and helping the environment is an important goal for everyone to work towards.

While many people are not aware of it, there is a lot of good that comes from not tossing out old frying pans and cooking pots.

If they can be spared from certain doom at the city dump, they can be used as recyclable materials.

The beauty of this is that there are ways to save them from the landfill and put them to good use elsewhere.

Take them to a local scrap metal center

The scrap metal industry is where the demand for metal products is always high.

Most of the materials that get recycled at scrap centers come in the form of metal items.

Old cooking pans and frying pans are a welcome addition to any scrap metal center.

The truth is the scrap metal industry has a very active recycling program that is able to keep millions of tons of recycled material out of landfill sites every year.

In your area, you’ll find that many scrap yards have recycling programs that accept a wide variety of metals and process them for reuse.

There are many types of metals that are suitable for recycling, but some of the most common recycled materials include aluminum, copper, gold, brass, and steel.

Metal recycling is not just a good way to keep garbage out of landfills; it’s also an excellent way to save energy and reduce the need for mining.

Gift them to loved ones

When you’re looking for a gift for someone, you’ll often find that the most sought-after gifts are those that are useful in some way.

A useful gift can be a large one, such as a new television, or it can also be a small one, such as an inexpensive camera.

The same goes for gifts of cookware.

Maybe you have a few frying pans with sentimental value, and you want to add them to your loved one’s kitchen.

Giving them to friends and family as gifts is a notable way to get used to frying pans off your hands.

Someone else will be able to get a lot of use out of them.

You can easily find a loving recipient for your old frying pans, and the new owner will be glad to receive them.

Oftentimes, friends and family members are looking for low-cost, quality items to add to their kitchen.

This is especially true if they don’t have enough money themselves to buy quality pots and pans.

Sell them on the online marketplaces

If you want to sell those old frying pans, but don’t know who to sell them to, try listing them online on sites such as eBay or Facebook Marketplace.

Just like any other type of merchant, people will purchase any product they can find that they need in the market.

Many people prefer to buy used items on the market when they just don’t have the money they need to purchase new equipment.

They may be looking for an inexpensive gift idea that isn’t too expensive but still useful.

You can have a listing on the marketplace or even post on your own Facebook page, so you can find new customers for your products.

Donate them to charity homes

Once your personal use of frying pans has come to an end, you should think about donating them to a charity home.

These houses are created specifically for donation items.

In these establishments, old frying pans, pots and other kitchen items are collected by volunteers.

The volunteers then either sell the donated items in their own stores or online and put the proceeds in their charities.

If you have been looking to donate some cooking pans and don’t know where to go or what to do with them, this is a good place for you and your old pans.

You can find a list of charity homes in your area to which you can donate a kitchen item.

You can also search online for donation centers in your state and local area.

Once you find the right place, drop off your frying pan and know that you have helped to keep it out of the dump.

Use old frying pans for camping

Camping never gets old, and it only gets better as you get older.

The great outdoors is an excellent place to let go of everything at home.

It’s a place where you can forget about the daily grind of life, relax, and enjoy the company of your family and friends.

With these experiences come great opportunities for cooking outside in the open air.

Cooking over a campfire is a wonderful way to give everyone something to do around the campfire while still keeping them engaged in conversation and enjoying the moment together.

The thing is, most people wouldn’t be obliged to use their new frying pans in such conditions as those found in a campsite.

If you have some old frying pans that you don’t need, you can use them for camping.

Take them with you to the campground and get a lot of use out of them.

You’ll be able to cook for your family and friends without needing anything else.

But before going on any outdoor adventure, you should make sure the pans are in good condition, clean and have no missing parts.

Make sure they are still sturdy enough to hold together when used outside.

Give them to an artist

Artists need their supplies and materials to be in tip-top shape.

A great, cheap way to get quality supplies is to collect them from secondhand stores, thrift shops, or from other people who are getting rid of them.

If you have frying pans that are damaged or just don’t work well anymore, you can give them to an artist.

In many cases, the artist will be able to use them for sculptural pieces.

Perhaps you have an artistic friend that likes sculpturing and needs supplies.

Don’t hesitate to give them your old frying pans and other items you have in your kitchen.

They’ll probably appreciate the gesture.

Make a frying pan bird feeder

Bird feeders are a wonderful way to have your garden or yard attracts a wide variety of peaceful creatures.

They also provide you with an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and maybe watch as nature comes alive in front of you.

Some bird feeders are very expensive, though, and if you don’t have much money to spend, this can get difficult.

Luckily, there are many things that you can use to make your own DIY bird feeder.

One of the most interesting things you can do is to repurpose your old frying pans into a bird feeder.

This is a very simple way to make a feeder and it won’t cost you much.

You will need to take the pan and clean out all the food leftovers, grease, and anything else that may be inside.

Then, you can decorate it with colorful paint or even natural substances such as clay.

When the feeder is good to go, start placing bird seed inside.

Many types of birds will stop by your home, attracted by the feeder and its contents.

Pan planters

Turning your old pans into planters for your home garden is another notable way to repurpose frying pans.

Not only will you be able to reuse an old pan, but you’ll also be able to repurpose it into a useful gardening item.

All you need to do is clean out the pan, paint it and add a hole in the center.

A hole will allow your pots or seedlings to breathe and grow properly.

This is a great project for anyone who likes gardening but doesn’t have much money to spend on new, decorative planters made of ceramic or plastic.

You can create something that is able to grow and thrive with the help of your old frying pans.

Garden bird bath

Creative ways to use old frying pans, such as making a garden bird bath from one, is another great way to repurpose an old and damaged pan.

A bird bath is a great thing to have in your garden if you wish for it to be as attractive and full of life as possible.

To make one, you will need an old frying pan, some pebbles or rocks and some water.

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or over the top.

Most birds just want shallow water in a container to drink and bathe in.

You can make it as simple or as extravagant as you want, depending on how much money you want to spend and how much time you want to spend in the garden.

The birds will be happy either way.

Watch the various birds as they enjoy the bath.

Final Thoughts

Frying pans make great gifts.

They last a long time and are always useful to have around the house.

You can also use them in many ways once they become old and worn out.

After you pass them on to your friends and family or give them to an artist, you can also use them in a number of different ways around your house and garden.

You’ll never have to throw away a pan again, since there are so many useful ways to recycle frying pans.


Should you throw away scratched Teflon pans?

Yes, once the non-stick surface is compromised, there is a possibility of chemicals contaminating the food. This can cause health issues in the long run.

Can you recycle an old frying pan?

Yes, and so can many others. Reusing it as a garden bird bath or as a planter can be very useful.

However, before you recycle it, make sure that there are no odd chemicals present in the pan that may cause serious health issues.


  • Jen Wheeler

    Jen Wheeler, co-founder of Recycling-Revolution.com, holds degrees from UC Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. A renowned environmentalist, she's championed sustainable practices at global events and leads EcoBright Solutions, focusing on recycling education and eco-friendly products.

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