Is It Possible to Recycle Venetian Blinds?

Don't Be 'Blind' to Recycling and Reuse Opportunities

Emily Keegin, Getty Images

Most people just throw away old window coverings when they replace those with new ones. But there are many different ways Venetian blinds can be reused and recycled. If you are a kind of person who wants to make good use of old Venetian blinds, the are some options to consider. In this article, we have outlined just some of the ways that your old Venetian blinds can be put to good use, from repurposing the blinds into interesting craft projects to other uses such as garden markers.

More popular options, however, include donation or recycling.

Aluminum

If your Venetian blinds are made with 100 percent aluminum, they can be taken to any scrap metal yard or recycling center for disposal. Before you toss them in the car, however, it is a good idea to give them a thorough cleaning (a quick hose down should be sufficient). It is also important to note that some scrap yards won’t accept full blinds – they only want the aluminum and steel parts. To ensure you get the best price, cut the cords free from each slat.

Timber

If you have timber blinds that have been painted or treated, they cannot be recycled. In this case, you are better off donating or upcycling them. If they are still in relatively good condition, we definitely recommend donating them, as someone struggling financially could use them. If they’re damaged, you could cut the slats up into smaller pieces to create garden markers or use them to create a herringbone pattern on furniture (such as dresser drawers).

 You just need to be creative to make good use of damaged timber blinds.

Fauxwood

These blinds are manufactured using a mixture of PVC and recycled hardwood. Unfortunately, they cannot be recycled as an option to avoid the landfill. If they are still in relatively good condition, we definitely recommend donating them (the same as what we suggested for blinds manufactured from other materials as well).

If they’re damaged, you could always turn the slats into something new. One creative idea we have seen is to turn the slats into a sunburst mirror.

Bamboo

Usually, bamboo blinds are not recycled as they are normally treated or stained. The best option you have with bamboo blinds is to upcycle them. We have found the slats sewn together as lampshades, beach mats, and placements. As bamboo normally decompose quickly if landfilled, you should not feel too bad if you choose to landfill them.

 

Where can I donate?

Donating is the best way you can divert old Venetian blinds from landfills. Especially if your old Venetian blinds are in good condition, start by asking your family, friends, and colleagues. Check if anybody is interested in taking them. If you don’t generate any interest, try charities around you. Both ways, you must uninstall them carefully and be sure not to lose any parts or hardware. Depending on the material, give the Venetian blind slats a quick clean with a dusting cloth or even a decent spray with a hose. Finally, raise the blinds completely and neatly wrap up the cords so that they do not get tangled.

You can drop Venetian blinds into goodwill bins if that is permitted in your locality.

But make sure you put them into a garbage bag to prevent them from getting tangled or damaged.   

As with other products, one thing to ask for when you purchase new blinds is to find out if they have been designed with recycling in mind.
 

Marie Safel originally wrote this article on behalf of Energy Window Fashions.