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While watches may seem like a thing of the past to some, to others they are still an essential fashion accessory (even if they look at their cellphone to tell time). But like everything else, watches do have a shelf life, and will stop working once their battery runs out, they fall and break, or when they it’s just simply their time. So, how do you dispose of a watch that you don’t want or need anymore? In this article, we take a look at whether or not a watch can be recycled, and if there are any alternatives to throwing away your old watch.

Can you recycle a watch?

Due to the fact that watches are made of so many different materials, they can’t exactly be thrown in the blue bin with the rest of your recycling. This leaves you with the option of throwing your watch in the trash or taking it apart completely to recycle only certain components. However, there are other ways to go about recycling your watch.

Recycle Nation tells us the best way to recycle a watch:

“Watches are made with a huge range of materials. The watch and band can contain cheap or precious metal, soft or hard plastic, real or fake leather, glass, even wood. Watches have lots of little pieces, most of which are not particularly valuable. As a result, it is difficult to truly recycle watches. However, there are plenty of ways you can recycle some of your old watch parts, or even reuse the entire watch. Search online for “we buy watches” or “we buy non-working watches,” and you will pull up plenty of results.”

Give it to a non-profit organization

Donating to your local thrift store is a great way to pass on your old watch while helping someone in need. Of course, this only applies if you know your watch isn’t broken beyond repair and/or the face hasn’t been smashed from an accidental drop!

ThreadCurve tells us more ways that you can give to a non-profit organization:

“A number of charities accept donations of watches. Groups, such as Brownies and Scouts, recycle them or resell them to raise much-needed funds. They accept other donated jewelry for this purpose, too. Watches that are still ticking can be given away or sold at a reduced price to those who otherwise couldn’t afford them. Charities can also sell the watches to raise money for their respective organizations.  They might, for instance, sell them at auction or raffle them off.”

Contact the watch’s manufacturer


Your manufacturer may be happy to take back your old watch, as they will likely be able to benefit from its still working pieces. You can also contact your watch manufacturer to find out more regarding their own recycling process.

WickedCoolWatches explains why you should try contacting your watch manufacturer to get rid of your old watch:

“It’s been a growing trend for watch manufacturers to take care of the disposal of their watches. Companies now take in their old and non-functional watches and take them apart to use all the pieces that are still working in new watches. This is a perfect way to recycle your old watch as even if they don’t have any pieces that can be recycled, the watch will go into the manufacturer’s disposal process, which is designed to dispose of the watches properly.”

We offer a wide variety of waste disposal options, including how to safely dispose of a watch, with services readily available online. Reach out to us to see what we can offer you.

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