Eyewear: Options for donating and recycling

Day 157 – About 60% of the world’s population needs some kind of corrective lenses. That ends up being a lot of eyeglasses and contacts being worn and eventually tossed. Thankfully, there are places to donate your eyewear and recycle your contacts.


The organization you donate to will inspect the glasses, determine the prescription, and clean the eyewear so it can be used again. Your old glasses will then get matched to someone who needs them — around the world or in your neighborhood.

  1. Lions Club International – They operate a network of collection boxes and Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers, where volunteers process donated glasses for distribution through medical missions around the world.
  2. New Eyes – A United Way agency, buys new glasses for people in need in the United States. It also accepts, processes and distributes gently used donated eyeglasses to people overseas. New Eyes accepts used prescription glasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, safety glasses and children’s glasses in good to excellent condition.
  3. OneSight -An independent nonprofit that has helped more than 9 million people in 46 countries. They set up permanent vision centers and hold charitable clinics around the world. While OneSight dispenses only new eyewear to patients, they accept donations of used eyewear and send it to Lions Clubs International in support of their recycling programs.
  4. Eyes of Hope – Vision insurer VSP Global provides access to no-cost eye care and eyewear for more than 2 million people around the world. They accept donations of new and gently used eyewear.


You can recycle your contacts and their packaging through TerraCycle’s Free Recycling Program. Just type in your zip code and you will be given a list of participating eye care facilities that will take your used contact lenses and packaging.

You can drop off your old eyeglasses and used contacts at the Northcenter Neighborhood Association’s Recycle Popup. Eyeglasses will be donated to the Lions Club and contacts will be recycled through TerraCycle. Our next popup will be on Saturday, June 19th.

So, on this National Eyewear Day, consider passing on those old eyeglasses to someone in need and give them the gift of good eyesight.

Tomorrow, keeping our food safe, locally and globally.

Contact Lenses: Avoid the sink, trash & toilet – RECYCLE

Borrowed from the internet

Day 106 – A study at the Arizona State University, revealed that 15 to 20 percent of contact lens wearers dispose of the lenses down the sink or toilet. That comes out to be about 1.8 billion to 3.36 billion lenses flushed per year in the United States. By washing or flushing away your contact lenses, you are contributing to the microplastic situation that is plaguing our waterways.

Even though disposing of your contact lenses in the trash is definitely better for the environment than sending them down the sink or toilet, an even better solution is recycling them.

TerraCycle has partnered with Bausch & Lomb, to recycle any brand of contact lenses, along with their packaging. All you have to do is type in your zip code and it will locate the closest drop-off location.

So, grab yourself a container or paper bag and start collecting. Once, you have 6 months or a year saved up, drop them off at the closest drop-off location. You’ll be shocked by how much waste you are diverting from the landfill and waterways, by just setting them aside for recycling.

For those in the Northcenter neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods, we will be accepting contact lenses and packaging at our monthly Recycle Popup, happening tomorrow (Saturday, April 17) from 9am-12pm, at the Northcenter Town Square (4100 N. Damen) . Check our LIST for other items we’ll be collecting.

Tomorrow, must see TV.