How to Recycle Eyeglasses

Getting new glasses? Find out how to recycle eyeglasses so you can make sure your old pair gets a good new home. Over 250 million people worldwide have poor vision, and according to the World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected problems, especially in developing countries. It's unfortunate that so many vision-impaired people have to live without glasses. Your old glasses could change someone's life, giving them the gift of sight. This is incredibly important for children who need to see in order to learn at school. Here are four ways to recycle eyeglasses.

Lions Club International is the biggest eyeglasses donation program in the US. In 2005, the organization collection over 5 million pairs of glasses. Donating to Lions Club is easy. Contact your local club to find a collection box near you. They're often located in schools, community centers, optometrist office, libraries and places of worship. You can also send your eyeglasses to the international headquarters or to a local Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center. Visit lionsclubs.org to find a method that works for you. The program accepts many kinds of eyeglasses: Plastic and metal frames, prescription and reading glasses, sunglasses and especially children's glasses.

New Eyes for the Needy is another way to recycle eyeglasses. The organization sends eyewear to international charitable organizations and to medical missions. Visit their Web site for shipping information. The program accepts many kinds of eyeglasses: Plastic and metal frames, prescription and reading glasses and sunglasses.

OneSight holds clinics with eye exams in 31 different developing countries, while they're there they hand-deliver eyeglasses. To recycle eyeglasses with OneSight, visit your local PearleVision store. They accept all kinds of glasses including children's and adult's eyewear, non-prescription sunglasses, prescription and reading glasses and bifocals.

Thrift stores will take your glasses and give them to someone in need closer to home. Goodwill, Salvation Army or local resale shops will all gladly recycle eyeglasses.

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I've had to wear glasses pretty much my entire life. I remember getting my first pair when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I hadn't realized that I was so nearsighted. I went to the park with my two pairs of glasses; one clear and the other pair tinted for the sun.
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