6 Easy Ways to Dispose of Old Cooking Pots and Pans

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Properly managed cooking pots and pans can last for years. You can even re-coat your non-stick pan to return its non-stick properties and make it safe to use. 

However, change is inevitable. You may want to change your old cookware to give your kitchen a new and attractive look. By the way, those old pieces of cookware have served their purpose.

Alright, now that you’re ready to dispose of your old cooking pots and pans, how do you plan to go about it? 

Do you plan to send them to the landfills? Unfortunately, this won’t be a good idea for the environment and everyone. Besides, pots and pans won’t degrade and pose a serious injury risk to people. 

In this post, you will find several ways to dispose of your old pots and pans safely and hassle-free.

Are you ready? Let’s dive in.

6 Easy Ways to Dispose of Cooking Pots and Pans

Mind you, the steps you’re about to read does not support throwing your pots and pans in the trash can and to landfills once you no longer need them. 

If you have done that or planning to dispose of your cookware this way, put an end to it. 

There are easy ways to get old cookware off your kitchen without even breaking a sweat or putting our environment at risk. 

Let’s dive into them right away!

1. Try recycling your old pots and pans

You can recycle your old cookware. However, this process requires specific machines, knowledge, and tools you might not have. 

But there are diverse metal scrap facilities that are more than willing to help you recycle your pans or pots.

What they do is take off the needed metal parts and recycle them into something more useful. Many metal scrap facilities also upcycle cookware to everyday products, such as watering cans and benches. 

Note the kind of metal your cookware has. Is it ferrous or non-ferrous? To find out, get a magnet. If it attracts the magnet, then it’s ferrous. If it doesn’t, then it’s non-ferrous. 

You need to know this because most recycling centers accept either non-ferrous (stainless steel, aluminum, copper) or ferrous cookware. 

Again, if your old cookware is coated with Teflon, try to remove the coating before sending them to the scrap facility. 

But if you don’t have the time and energy for such, put a call through to the recycle center to know if they accept Teflon coated pots and pans or not. Please do this before sending your cookware to their facility. 

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2. Use as Kitchen décor

If you don’t fancy the idea of sending your pots and pans to the scrap metal facility, consider using use them to decorate your kitchen. 

You will love this idea, particularly if your pans or pots still look decent. But if not, no worries! Paint the cookware with gold, bronze, or any color of paint you want. 

However, gold or bronze paints will make your cookware look more attractive and neat. Just remove the Teflon coating so that the paint can appear uniform. 

Besides beautifying your kitchen, your old cookware can serve other purposes.

You can use those old pots or pans to store items you regularly use in the kitchen. If the pots are handless, use them to store your sponge and dishwashing liquid. And place the old pot gently under the sink. 

Station your large old pot on the baker’s rack to hold your wooden spoons and spatula. It will make your kitchen look tidier. 

Note – The kitchen isn’t the only place you can use your old pots and pans as decors. You can also use them in the sitting room, and elsewhere. 

Place some firewood in your old pot or large pan, and keep it near the fireplace for some charm. Your old pot can also serve as an umbrella stand, though you have to keep it at a corner in your house, so no one would step on it or sustain an injury. 

3. Plant succulents in your pots and pans

Another way you can use your old pots and pans is for planting succulents. The more pots and pans you have for this, the better. 

But you can start with the few ones you have and grow from there. Populate your patio or front yard with succulents planted in pots and pans. 

There’s no need for you to be a professional gardener to plant succulents in a pot or maintain the plant. Many materials you can read to gain more knowledge are out there. 

So, why should you plant succulent? Well, the reason is that succulent plants thrive with less watering than other plants. 

Succulent plants have specialized stem and leaves that enables the storing of water for a long period possible.

By these features, succulent plants are super easy to maintain. You don’t have to water them every single day.  

Now, before planting succulent in your used pot or pan, consider working on the drainage. Standing water in the pot could kill your plants. 

You have to ensure proper drainage to drill holes at the bottom of the pots or pans. The holes shouldn’t be too big so that much of the water and soil won’t be lost through those channels. 

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For drilling, a 6mm to 8mm drill bit should work fine for this. And have the holes drilled from the inside out. 

Approximately 4 to 6 holes should be fine. The holes will ensure there’s no standing water in the pot or pan. 

Note – Succulent plants’ roots can do well in shallow containers. But they need to be wider enough to accommodate the roots. 

A smaller-sized pot would constrict the plant’s roots and cause stunted growth. 

Furthermore, you should choose the right soil for your succulent plant. Find a potting mixture specifically designed for succulents. 

You can also paint your pot or pan before planting your succulent. Paint the handle, rim, inside, and outside area of the cookware to look more attractive. 

4. Donate to local charity and old friends

Another way to get those old pans and pots off your kitchen space is through a donation. If the cookware is still in proper condition, many charities and shelters will be willing to take them off your hands. 

These charities don’t have enough funds to get more cookware for their teeming population. So, you’re solving a problem by donating your cookware to them.

You can talk to the head of the religion you belong to about your interest to donate some old piece of cookware that is still in good condition. Your donation doesn’t always have to be monetary. 

Goodwill and Salvation Army are two popular local charities that accept such donations. But if either doesn’t show interest, you can ask for more suggestions for a charity that accepts such donations. Even if the location is far away, you can mail it down. 

 There could also be people in your neighborhood that need those used pots and pans. Just ask around and see the response you would get. 

Note – Do not give out a non-stick pot or pan that has been scratched. Unless you have been able to season them, keep in mind that using such cookware poses a high risk. 

5. Use as DIY Holder

You can use those old pots and pans of yours to hold anything. Pots are deeper, so they may contain more items than pans. 

Even if this piece of cookware no longer has handles, it doesn’t matter. You can still use them to hold diverse items. 

If you do some DIY fashion designing at home, store your thread spools in your old pots. It makes keeping the thread a breeze. 

Not just your thread spools. You can also store your wool yarn balls or other tools inside the pot and keep somewhere safe around the house or by your side when working. 

Halloween is also upon us. You can store those candies and sweets in your old pots. Just have them filled to the brim with candies. Not just Halloween, you can do the same thing for Christmas and every other celebration. 

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Now, here’s where you have to get a little bit creative. If your pots are old and unattractive, which may likely be the case, given that they have been in use for years, you have to repaint them. 

You can use any paint you feel will make it look more attractive and top-notch. But bear in mind that you will not be using the pot for cooking any longer. 

It would help if you also gave the paint some time to dry up before placing your candies in it or storing any material inside. 

6. Let the kids have them

If you have cookware that is no longer presentable, and you can’t donate it to charity, let your little ones have it. 

Allow your kids to have their first cooking experience and see what their mother goes through in the kitchen to prepare food every day. 

Let them play outside the kitchen. And keep an eye on them. Your kids probably know all the tools and ingredients they need to prepare a meal, so they may likely visit your kitchen to collect the additional utensils and ingredients they need. 

So, you need to monitor how they conduct their play outside the house. Discourage your kids from entering the kitchen. As for utensils, a plastic spoon will be more convenient for them. 

You can also use the old pots to store your kids’ toys in their rooms. But ensure the pots are safe for the kids. There should be no sharp edge or object. 

Storing your kids’ toys in such a container will help them to learn how to be organized at a tender age. 

Things to Keep in Mind When Disposing of Cooking Pans

Now that you’re ready to dispose of your cooking pans, here are a few things to have in mind.

  • Only donate pots or pans that are in good condition. Scratched non-stick pans are a risk to whomever you’re donating them to.
  • Add your old pots and pans to your kids’ list of playing tools. 
  • Recycle your old pots and pans if there’s a facility near you. Your old cookware can be transformed into everyday items. 
  • You can customize your old pots and pans and use them as DIY holders for diverse items. 

Conclusion

Have you thought about how to dispose of your old pots and pans today? Here are a few tips to help you do so without further harming our already fragile environment. 

Sending your pots and pans to landfills isn’t a good way to dispose of them. Instead, you can throw the tips highlighted in this post. 

We hope you can now dispose of your old cookware the right way and with ease. Thanks for stopping by!

References:

https://www.calgary.ca/uep/wrs/what-goes-where/pots-pans.html

https://www.recyclenow.com/what-to-do-with/saucepans

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2009/09/q-a-how-do-i-recycle-my-old-cookware/index.htm

About Sylvette Brown

Sylvette is a homemaker and is passionate about cooking and other kitchen-related stuff. She also loves to do home improvement related tasks and keeps on writing about food and cookware on her blog. When she is not writing, she keeps herself busy with her 2 little kids. :)