Photographs Alternative ways to recycle Put in Garbage Photographs have a polyester coating and therefore are not recyclable. Also, old film and negatives are not recyclable. Place these items in the trash. Don't Recycle Professional Prints Prints from in-store photo centers or online photo services cannot be recycled because they are processed with chemicals that will contaminate paper recycling. Regular Printer Photos Are Recyclable If your photos were printed on a regular paper printer, they can be recycled along with office paper. Old Photos Contain Heavy Metals Old photographs cannot be recycled because they are coated in heavy metals such as silver and mercury. Alternative Ways to Recycle Donate Historical Photos You can donate old photographs with historical value to organizations like the Society of American Archivists. These organizations want to preserve family histories and share them with others. Ways to Reduce Recyclable Cotton Rag Paper You can make at-home printing more eco-friendly by using cotton rag paper. Photo Rag® Baryta by Hahnemuhle is a recyclable paper that uses a natural gloss. Cotton-rag paper is considered one of the more eco-friendly options because it’s sourced from the textile making process. Affordable and Recyclable Paper HP’s Everyday Glossy Photo Paper is an affordable and eco-friendly alternative to plastic for at-home photo printing. It is a mixed paper that can be recycled. Ways to Reuse Mail Photos as Postcards Consider turning unwanted photos into postcards by writing a fun message on the back and sending them to family and friends. You can also glue them to a piece of thicker cardstock before mailing to keep them safe during travel.