Can Headphones be Recycled? (Think Again!)

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can you recycle headphone

Headphones are commonplace in the digital age. Our enthusiasm with music spawned the development of different types of headphones - from classic earpods to giant headphones that you often see musicians and DJs use while playing music in clubs.

They are the best devices for listening to music, podcasts, old-school radio programs while out and about in public. Headphones have allowed us to enjoy and immerse in our favourite tunes privately wherever we go.

When to Throw Away Your Old Headphones

headphone hygiene

Headphones are made from different types of materials, including plastics that are hard to recycle. When your headphone has gone past its expected lifespan, what do you do with it?

Don’t throw it in the trash, as more non-biodegradable components in landfills contribute to the deterioration of our planet. The best way to get rid of your old headphone is through recycling.

The good news is that there are many companies that will happily accept your old and tattered pair of in-ear headphones or against the ear headphones.

The general rule when getting rid of old headphones is this - if your old headphone still works and does a decent job of letting you enjoy music, chances are someone will find it useful.

You may donate your headphone to certain organizations, or simply hand them down to friends or family members who need them. Even before you consider recycling, make sure to think of ways on how you can make your headphones useful in your life.

How to Recycle Headphones

girl with bluetooth headphones

You may reach out to your county or city recycling facility for safe and proper recycling of headphones. Most communities have established e-waste programs that let community members drop off their electronic gadgets and items at a dedicated electronics recycling centre.

Do not expect the curbside garbage disposal program to accept your e-waste. There are implications when electronic wastes are dumped in landfills, as the components may weather away, and chemicals will seep through the soil - a condition that may cause much harm to the environment.

Companies that Accept Old Headphones

You may also look into recycling programs that are implemented by electronic manufacturers. One example is JLAb, a company that sells Bluetooth devices, headphones, and speakers. Interested individuals may participate in their recycling program. All you need to do is fill out a form on JLab’s website.

Once the application is received, you will be provided with more details on how you can successfully recycle your headphones under their initiative. As a token of appreciation for your efforts to recycle your headphones, JLab will be rewarding you with a 30% discount coupon for purchases on their website.

Sneakers and earphones on wooden table, closeup

Thinksound is yet another company that offers a recycling program to the public. The New Hampshire-based headphone company lets you send them your old headphones. You can find their address on their official website.

Thinksound offers up to 15% discount on your next purchase on their site. If you are recycling a Thinksound headphone, you will be rewarded with a bigger discount.

You may also visit your nearest BestBuy store and see if they have a recycling program. Not only can you drop off your old headphones, but you may bring other electronic devices and appliances to their store for proper recycling and disposal.

Their recycling bins for cords and cables are usually located in the entranceway. Larger appliances and devices are to be dropped off at their customer service counter.

If your headphone is still in good working condition, you can head to a thrift store to donate them. If you know a family member, friend, or colleague who is looking to upgrade headphones to a model similar to the headphone that you want to get rid of, why not give it to them instead?

If you are trying to dispose of an old but high-end headphone, you should consider selling it on Craigslist, eBay, or similar shopping sites.

If you have a nice pair of headphones that you are reluctant to throw away or give to others, there are websites that will teach you how to breathe new life into them to make them look new again.

Websites like provided useful guides on how you can successfully restore headphones. In some cases, you can restore your headphones to look and feel new by replacing certain materials and components - a more cost-effective approach than buying a new pair of headphones.

How To Clean your Headphones

For those who have invested on a high-end headphone or a specialised models like ones used by drummers and musicians and don’t want to throw away your current pair, but want an upgrade you should consider adding an adapter to make it more functional.

Although the addition of an adapter makes a headphone look awkward, and at times, bulky, this recycling strategy will make your headphone work like new, hence this tip is definitely worth a try.

Another method of refurbishing your headphones is by switching your wires into a Bluetooth speaker. By using Bluetooth adapters, you may convert traditional wired headphones into wireless speakers.

You will also realize that switching to Bluetooth adapters deliver better sound quality than traditional headsets.

Your old headphones don’t have to look or function like one when you recycle them. With a little creativity and imagination, you can create quirky and fun jewellery pieces with its parts and components.

You can check out DIY websites for instructions on how you can use headset parts and components into stunning faux jewellery pieces.

How to Make your Headphones Last Longer

girl with headphones on

Of course, we all want to contribute to efforts of saving the planet. As much as possible, we hate throwing away electronics, but there are instances where there’s no point in keeping them in storage.

What you can do to reduce the frequency of repurchasing headphones is by learning ways on how you can make them last longer. A little bit of TLC will guarantee that you can use your headphones beyond its standard lifespan.

  • Invest in a good pair of headphones from a trusted manufacturer.
  • Clean your headphones with a soft cloth and gentle cleansers, so their components and parts retain their excellent condition longer.
  • Be extra careful when wrapping and putting away your cables when not in use.

We hope that these recycling tips will help you decide on how you will dispose of your old headphones at home.

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