Are picture frames recyclable?

Are picture frames recyclable?

Picture frames are essential for displaying your precious memories, artworks, or certificates. However, with time, you may want to change your decor or replace your old frames with new ones, leaving you wondering, "Are picture frames recyclable?" In this article, we will explore the answer to this question and provide tips on recycling your old frames.

What are Picture Frames Made of?

Before we delve into whether picture frames are recyclable, let's look at the materials used to make them. Picture frames come in different shapes, sizes, and materials. Some of the most common materials include:

  1. Wood: This is the most common material used for picture frames. Wooden frames are available in various finishes, including natural wood, painted, or stained.
  2. Metal: Picture frames made of metal, such as aluminium, brass, or steel, are popular for their sleek and modern look.
  3. Plastic: Plastic frames are lightweight, affordable, and come in various colours and styles.
  4. Glass: Most picture frames have glass covers to protect the artwork or photo. However, some frames use plastic or acrylic sheets as an alternative.

Are Picture Frames Recyclable?

Whether picture frames are recyclable depends on the material used to make them. Here's a breakdown of the recyclability of different types of picture frames:

  1. Wooden Frames: Wooden frames are generally recyclable. You can recycle them by taking them to a recycling centre that accepts wood. Some cities may also offer curbside pickup for wooden frames.
  2. Metal Frames: Metal frames are also recyclable. You can recycle them by taking them to a metal recycling facility or a local recycling centre that accepts metal.
  3. Plastic Frames: Unfortunately, most plastic frames are not recyclable. Plastic frames are made from different types of plastic, and not all types can be recycled. However, you can check with your local recycling centre to see if they accept plastic frames.
  4. Glass: Glass is recyclable, but it can be challenging to recycle picture frame glass. This is because the Glass used in picture frames is often mixed with other materials, such as paper or cardboard, making it difficult to separate and recycle. However, some recycling centres may accept picture frame glass if it's separated from other materials.

Tips for Recycling Picture Frames

Now that you know the recyclability of different types of picture frames, here are some tips to help you recycle them:

  1. Check with your local recycling centre to see if they accept the type of frame you have.
  2. If your local recycling centre does not accept your frame, try to repurpose it. You can use wooden frames as planters or turn metal frames into wall decor.
  3. Consider donating your frames to a thrift store, charity, or community centre.
  4. If all else fails, dispose of your frames in the trash. However, remove any glass or sharp objects before doing so.


In conclusion, picture frames are recyclable, but it depends on the type of material used to make them. Wooden and metal frames are generally recyclable, while plastic frames may not. Glass in picture frames can be challenging to recycle, but some recycling centres may accept them. When recycling your picture frames, it's essential to check with your local recycling centre to see if they accept the type of frame you have. 

Alternatively, you can repurpose or donate your old frames or dispose of them in the trash if all else fails. Recycling or repurposing your old frames can reduce waste and contribute to a more sustainable environment.