Keys Put in Garbage See Alternatives Car Keys Are Often E-Waste Any item that contains electronic parts, such as a car key, can be disposed of as e-waste. No Plastic and Electronics? It's Scrap Metal Keys that are not covered in plastic can be sold to scrap metal recycling facilities. These facilities melt down and recycle the scrap metal they purchase. Find out how to dispose of scrap metal. Throw Out if Covered in Plastic If the key itself is electronic-free and covered in plastic, it can be thrown away. Plastic is a contaminant for scrap metal recycling and vice versa. Alternative Ways to Recycle Keys for Kids You can mail in unwanted keys to the nonprofit Keys for Kids. Their mission is to support the community and help out students with financial needs. In the past, they have used their money to pay negative balances on school lunch accounts. Ways to Reuse Use as Hanging Weights Around the house, it’s sometimes difficult to keep curtains or tablecloths orderly. Try sewing a few old keys along the edge of a curtain or table cloth to keep them in place on a windy day. Decorative Purposes There are a number of crafty ways to reuse keys. For instance, keys can be hung on trees or wreaths during the holidays. You can also paint small keys and wear them as jewelry. Did You Know? The Impact of Recycling Metal According to the EPA, in 2008, Americans recycled more than 7 millions tons of metal, including keys. In doing so, we saved the equivalent of the annual greenhouse gas emissions from nearly 5 million cars.