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What To Do With Old Clothes Hangers

You’re doing some spring cleaning, and you donated a bunch of unused clothing items from your closet. Great work! It always feels good to declutter. Now, what do you do with all the clothes hangers you no longer need?

Clothes hangers feel like the kind of thing that you never actually buy, but rather just somehow magically acquire. Maybe new ones come back from the dry cleaners, or maybe they come with a new piece of clothing you bought. When you want them to flow in the other direction, ie away from your closet, what do you do?

Are Clothes Hangers Recyclable?

Most peoples’ first thought is to consider whether they can just throw their hangers in the recycling bin. According to Recycle Bank, the unfortunate answer is that “it depends.”

Plastic hangers can sometimes be made from recyclable plastics. But the hangers have a tendency to gum up the works at recycling centers, getting caught in sensitive machinery. For that reason, many centers won’t accept plastic hangers.

Metal hangers are sometimes an easier sell. Because metal can be melted down and recycled, scrap yards will sometimes accept and recycle metal hangers, though you probably won’t get paid for them.

In any event, don’t assume that your hangers can be recycled. Check with your local recycling company first.

Does Goodwill Accept Hangers?

Your next step might be to think about dropping off a bunch of hangers at Goodwill. Unfortunately, though, most Goodwill locations don’t accept clothes hangers.

The hangers are on most Goodwill stores’ red list of items that you can’t donate. You can always try your local store, but in most cases, Goodwill doesn’t accept donations of clothes hangers.

One piece of good news: most Goodwill locations will accept clothes on hangers. If you’re planning to donate a bunch of clothes but don’t feel like removing all the hangers first, you can often donate the clothes and hangers together without an issue.

Where Can I Donate Clothes Hangers?

Just because Goodwill is out, that doesn’t mean there are no places to donate hangers. It just means you need to get more creative. One place to check are dry cleaners. Some are willing to take excess hangers off your hands, since they always need to send out hangers with garments.

Another option is to connect with your local Buy Nothing group. You can often find these groups on Facebook. If you post about having a lot of hangers to get rid of, people will often take them. Some might even come to your house to pick the clothes hangers up.

How Long Do Hangers Last?

Why bother to recycle hangers? Because the alternative is pretty grim. According to the BBC, hangers in a landfill can take 1000 or more years to biodegrade. Throw a plastic hanger in the trash, and it will outlive you and several generations of your progeny.

That’s why recycling or reusing hangers is so important. Finding a place to dispose of your old clothes hangers is a major environmental priority.

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