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    What to Do & Where to Recycle Those Solar Eclipse Glasses

    Now that we’ve all viewed the coolest event in 2017, the next question on everyone’s minds is what to do with those solar eclipse glasses.

    It’s not Wednesday (yet), but here’s what to do with those blackout shades.

    Where to Recycle Those Solar Eclipse Glasses in Philly

    First, it’s time to assess what shape your solar glasses are in.

    What to Do with Damaged Solar Eclipse Glasses

    If your solar glasses are damaged in any way – aka scratched, punctured or torn – you CAN recycle them in Philadelphia single-stream recycling, according to Zero Waste Director Nic Esposito.

    The silver-black filter is a polymer, so you can just toss them in your blue recycling bin.

    If Those Solar Eclipse Glasses are fine

    The next solar eclipse will hit the USA in 2024. Although some glasses have warnings about discarding after three years (my Warby Parkers came with such a disclaimer), the ISO compliant shades (ISO 12312-2) are fine. According to NASA:

    If the filters aren’t scratched, punctured, or torn, you may reuse them indefinitely. Some glasses/viewers are printed with warnings stating that you shouldn’t look through them for more than 3 minutes at a time and that you should discard them if they are more than 3 years old. Such warnings are outdated and do not apply to eclipse viewers compliant with the ISO 12312-2 standard adopted in 2015.


    If you don’t want to hold onto the glasses, Astronomers Without Borders will shortly be starting a program to distribute them to other countries like South America and Asia for future eclipses. They haven’t announced who will be receiving them yet, so you can sign up for their newsletter or follow them on Facebook. (We’ll update this post when new info comes available.)

    If you want to mail them immediately, here’s the address:

    Explore Scientific
    1010 S. 48th Street
    Springdale, AR 72762


    Readers, we’re still scoping out if any local Philly orgs are recycling the shades. Tell us in the comments if you know about other donations/drives.

    Julie Hancher

    About Julie Hancher

    Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake.

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