Recycling Old Photos


Did you know that older pictures were printed on paper that was coated with small amounts of silver? As a result, they cannot be recycled. They were also developed using very harsh chemicals.

So, it is not a good idea to mix those chemicals with other paper in your recycle bin.


Please be sure to check with your local recycler for your photo disposal guidelines. More current photos can be recycled because they are developed with ink.


If you know that there is no silver or developing chemicals on the photos/paper, it is probably acceptable to dispose of in your recycle bin. Hewlett-Packard makes a photo paper they claim is recyclable.


Green Disk takes negatives and film for recycling (they also accept media, computer drives, batteries ink, film...check their list). You can mail the items to the company following the instructions on their website. Kodak also has programs aimed at recycling.


Google “recycling photos”…and you will probably find new resources.


Repurposing is the most eco-friendly option for recycling old photos and has become very popular on Pinterest.


Also, keep in mind, your local Historical Society might be interested in old photos of your town and landmarks in your area. Veterans groups might also be interested in your old photos.


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