When I found out that Terracycle and Calphalon have partnered on a new program to recycle old cookware, bakeware, and cutlery, I immediately joined.

(NOTE: You must now purchase a Zero Waste Box to recycle these items.)

We’ve been talking about somme of the increasingly eco-friendly changes we’ve all been making in our homes over the past few years, like my family’s recent switch to reusable bamboo paper towels. So this is one more change that I definitely want to implement.

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Please see note at bottom for updates to this program

An easy, free way to recycle the pots and pans you can't donate

Most municipal recycling programs don’t accept cookware, so I tend to just toss (with a strong pang of guilt) or donate mine when I upgrade — provided they’re worth donating. Sometimes they’re beyond help. That’s why I’m glad that Terracycle’s recycling programs are so easy: just sign up, print the label, and mail your old cookware in one of their no-separate zero-waste boxes.

(Note: be sure to check with them first to confirm that your items will be accepted, as their list of acceptable products changes frequently.

Hopefully though, you can rescue those precious cast iron pans of yours — you should be able to bring that Lodge fry pan or cast iron dutch oven back to life with a little elbow grease and patience. Recycling ours would definitely be a last resort.

Update: As of September 2023, Terracycle has discontinued this Calphalon recycling program, however they assure consumers that cookware can still be recycled using their Zero Waste Boxes for a fee.

Check their site for their current list of free recycling programs — like the Loop program we covered on Cool Mom Picks — including popular kitchen brands like Rubbermaid reusable containers, Honest Kids drink pouches, Kroger store brand packaging, Febreeze sprays, and more.