Old coat hangers can be recycled, repurposed, or donated. Plastic hangers require specific recycling programs; wood hangers are ideal for creative repurposing; and metal hangers can be recycled as scrap metal at certain facilities.
Discover more creative and sustainable on what to do with old coat hangers in our comprehensive guide.
Recycling Different Types of Hangers
Recycling or repurposing coat hangers, whether they are plastic, wood, or metal, requires some effort and knowledge of the local recycling guidelines. By following these guidelines and exploring donation or repurposing options, we can contribute to sustainable living and waste reduction.
Recycling Plastic Hangers
The recyclability of plastic hangers varies. They often contain mixed materials, which makes them incompatible with standard recycling machinery.
Their sharp edges and pointy ends can damage recycling machinery. Additionally, many plastic hangers contain multiple types of plastic, metal hooks, or other non-recyclable materials, which contaminate recycling batches. Most curbside recycling programs do not accept them because of these complexities.
- Specialized Recycling Programs: Some recycling centers and specialized programs may accept plastic hangers. It’s crucial to remove any metal hooks or foreign materials before recycling.
- Retail Recycling Programs: Some retailers have specific recycling programs for plastic hangers and offer designated bins for dropping off old hangers for recycling.
Recycling Wood Hangers
These are generally not recyclable due to the finishes and glues used in their construction.
The varnish and other finishing chemicals they contain make wood hangers unsuitable for standard recycling processes. However, they’re great for repurposing or donating.
Disposal and Repurposing Options
- Donation: Wood hangers in good condition can be donated to thrift stores, shelters, or other charitable organizations.
- Repurposing: Wood hangers can be creatively repurposed for various household uses, which add value beyond their original purpose.
Recycling Metal or Wire Hangers
Metal is recyclable, but many curbside programs don’t accept metal hangers due to their shape.
Metal hangers, often made of recyclable steel, can be recycled at certain facilities. However, most standard recycling centers and curbside programs do not accept them due to the potential damage they can cause to recycling equipment.
Where to Recycle Metal Hangers
- Dry Cleaners and Thrift Stores: Many dry cleaners and thrift stores accept metal hangers for reuse.
- Scrap Metal Recyclers: Metal hangers can often be recycled at scrap metal recycling facilities, potentially offering a source of income.
Alternative Uses for Old Coat Hangers
Old coat hangers, aside from being closet accessories, are potential canvases for creativity. With a little imagination and DIY spirit, you can keep them out of landfills while adding a personal touch to your home.
Creative Repurposing of Wooden Hangers
Here are some creative ideas to transform these everyday items into useful and decorative pieces.
- Magazine and Newspaper Holder: Transform a hanger into a convenient holder for magazines and newspapers. Simply attach the hanger to a knob or hook, and you have an arm’s reach storage solution.
- Eyeglasses Storage: A wooden hanger can be easily repurposed as a practical eyeglass holder, where you can keep your glasses organized and easily accessible.
- Craft Ribbon Organizer: Cut the middle of the hanger and insert your ribbon spools. Secure them with some duct tape for a DIY craft ribbon organizer.
- Chair and Decorative Furniture: More complex projects, like crafting a chair or decorative furniture from wooden hangers, can add a unique and artistic touch to any space.
- Herb Drying Rack: A simple and functional way to dry herbs, using a repurposed wooden hanger, adds a rustic charm to your kitchen.
- Photo Hangers: Wooden coat hangers can be decorated and used as photo hangers, which can add a vintage feel to your home décor.
- Jewelry Hangers: Attach cabinet knobs to the hanger and use it to hang your jewelry. This can be a stylish addition to your dressing room or closet.
Innovative Uses for Wire Hangers
Wire hangers, often seen as disposable, can actually be repurposed in numerous creative ways, which include the following:
- Sandal Hanger: Transform wire hangers into holders for flip-flops or sandals. Cut the bottom section out, curl the arms up into a W shape, and use them to hang your footwear. You can also decorate them with ribbons for a fun touch.
- Book Holder or Plate Display: Fold a wire hanger in half to create a display stand for books or fancy dishes. This might require some bending and shaping using pliers.
- Drain Snake: Straighten out a wire hanger and make a small hook at one end to create a homemade drain cleaner. It’s effective for unclogging hairballs in your shower drain or food particles in your kitchen sink.
- Non-Slip Hanger: Wrap old scraps of fabric around wire hangers, securing the ends with glue, to create non-slip hangers. This also adds a touch of color and personality to your closet.
- Static Cling Remover: Run a straightened wire hanger over your clothes to remove static cling. This simple trick is especially useful on dry, static-prone days.
- Plant Lattice: Use straightened wire hangers to create simple supports for your climbing or draping plants. This can be a cost-effective and decorative way to support plant growth.
- Toilet Paper Hanger: Bend a wire hanger to form a holder for toilet paper to add an industrial-chic touch to your bathroom.
- Craft Projects: Wire hangers can be used to make decorative wreaths, dream catchers, and other craft items. This can be a fun and low-cost way to create unique home decor.
Suggestions for Repurposing Plastic Hangers
With a little imagination, you can transform these hangers into practical tools or decorative elements:
- Accessory Organizer: Use plastic hangers to organize accessories like belts, scarves, and ties. This helps keep them untangled and easily accessible.
- Cable and Cord Management: Organize your cables and cords by winding them around the arms of a hanger. Label each for easy identification, and hang them in a storage area to prevent tangling.
- Recipe Holder: Clip a recipe to a hanger and hang it at eye level for easy reference while cooking.
- Portable Mirror Holder: A plastic hanger can be modified to hold a lightweight mirror, either for hanging or as a stand. This is especially handy when traveling or in spaces where a traditional mirror isn’t feasible.
- Closet Space Saver: Attach tabs from soda cans to each hanger to double your hanging space in the closet. This technique allows you to hang garments vertically, saving valuable horizontal space.
- Children’s Art Display: Use plastic hangers to display children’s artwork. Clip the art to the hanger and hang it on the wall for an instant art gallery feel.
Donating Hangers to Charity Shops and Thrift Stores
Charity shops and thrift stores are often in need of coat hangers. These organizations use them to display clothing items. Before making a donation, it’s wise to call ahead and check if they accept hangers, as requirements may vary. Also, ensure that the hangers are in good condition without sharp edges that could damage clothing.
Some local donation centers that commonly accept hangers include Goodwill and The Salvation Army. These organizations use the proceeds from their sales to fund various community services and can greatly benefit from your hanger donation.
Additionally, local homeless shelters, community thrift stores, and other nonprofit organizations might accept hangers for their clothing support programs. It’s important to contact these organizations to confirm their policies on hanger donations. They may have specific guidelines or preferences regarding the types of hangers they accept.
Options for Eco-Friendly Hangers
Eco-friendly hangers have become increasingly popular as sustainable living gains momentum. Several options are available that reduce environmental impact compared to traditional hangers:
- Recycled Hangers: Made from recycled polypropylene and straw fibers, these hangers are slim, lightweight, and strong enough for heavy garments.
- Solid Brass Hangers: Handmade and ideal for special occasions, these hangers are 100% recyclable and built to last a lifetime.
- Rattan Clothes Hangers: Offering a rustic charm, these are made from natural rattan, a material known for its strength and lightweight properties.
- Aluminum Clothes Hangers: With 75% of all produced aluminum still in use, these hangers are 100% recyclable, strong, and lightweight, suitable for wet clothes.
- Cedar Wood Hangers: Ideal for humid areas, these hangers are made from sustainable American-grown red cedar, known for its rot resistance and natural moth repellent properties.
- Fabric-Covered Wooden Hangers: These hangers combine the strength of wood with fabric coverings that prevent the slipping and snagging of clothes.
Benefits of Choosing Sustainable Hangers
Opting for sustainable hangers offers several benefits:
- Environmental Impact: Eco-friendly hangers, often made from recyclable or biodegradable materials, help reduce waste and the carbon footprint associated with plastic hanger production.
- Durability and Quality: Many sustainable hangers are designed to be more durable than traditional plastic ones. This means fewer replacements and less waste over time.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Eco-friendly hangers often have a more appealing design. They can add an element of style to your closet.
- Versatility: Some sustainable hangers are suitable for specific uses, like wet clothes or delicate fabrics, providing more functionality.
- Health and Safety: Eco-friendly hangers are generally free from harmful chemicals found in some plastics, which makes them safer for both users and the environment.
Give Old Hangers a New Purpose
Old coat hangers can be recycled, donated, or repurposed in many ways. Making the right choice for their disposal helps reduce waste and supports sustainability. Let’s turn these everyday items into eco-solutions rather than landfill additions.