Although Amerelle wallplates are recyclable, that’s not the case for wallplates from every manufacturer. If you’re trading up to Amerelle, it’s important to consider disposal of your old plates in an environmentally friendly way, even if they’re not recyclable. First, we’ll help you determine if your wallplates can be recycled or not. If not, we’ll present some options to help you keep your plates from becoming landfill.
Is your Current Plate Recyclable?
If your current wallplates are made of metal, they can be recycled. Check with your local municipality – sometimes metals can be thrown right in with your standard recycling and your local facility will sort these appropriately for you. Other times, you’ll need to look up an industrial scrapyard to take the metals for recycling. As a bonus, you’ll be paid out scrap value for your old metal plates when taking them to an industrial recycler. If your old plates are plastic, you’ll need to determine what type of material they’re made of.
Most wallplates are made of phenolic resin, but others are constructed of nylon. If you’re not sure, the easiest way to tell is to sacrifice a wallplate to the bend test; wrap a wallplate in a thick towel and bend it. If it snaps or shatters, it’s phenolic (non-recyclable). If it bends without breaking, it’s nylon (recyclable).
Photo: A non-recyclable wallplate following the results of the "bend test"
Upcycling Phenolic Wallplates
If your plate is phenolic, it can’t be easily recycled but can be upcycled. Where recycling melts down the material and turns it into a brand new product, upcycling in this case grinds down the plastic into and uses it as a filler in other items. For example, shredding phenolic wallplates results in shavings that can be used as reinforcement in other phenolic items. Even if you can’t recycle it, you can repurpose it and reduce the amount of virgin phenolic resin used in future production, and that’s still a win for the planet! This service isn’t available everywhere, so call your local recycling company to learn what your best options are.
Small Donations Make a Big Impact
If your wallplates are in nice condition but just no longer reflect your style, please consider donating them to Habitat for Humanity or another similar non-profit organization. Someone else can continue to enjoy them for years to come! This is always the best way for you to repurpose wallplates that are in good, usable condition, as it saves the recycling or upcycling energy required to melt or shred the plates, and it helps someone else out in the process. You win, they win, and the planet wins!
*Amerelle is not associated with Habitat for Humanity
A Greener Planet
Amerelle wallplates aren’t large items. Even your entire home’s volume of wallplates isn’t very large, but small changes add up over time to shape a greener planet. As the market leader in decorative wallplates, Amerelle is dedicated to doing our part for the environment and educating our customers to do the same. If you have any questions, please contact us; we’re always happy to help you choose a design style or properly dispose of your old wallplates.