Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Need a .pdf recycling quick guide? Click here!

Q: When did your organization start?

A: We started recycling medals in 2016.

Q: Do you have any international locations?

A: Our only location is in the United States. If you are contacted by or see someone in another country using our name, it is a scam.

Q: Do you recycle trophies?

A: No. We do not accept trophies of any kind.

Q: How do I send in medals?

A: If you are an individual/group and you have one box or a small number of medals to send in, we strongly recommend sending them via USPS flat rate boxes as their flat rate shipping often is the cheapest option (flat rate up to 70 pounds). There are small, medium and large flat rate boxes available. Postage is cheaper if you order it online and print out your own label versus going to the post office.

You do not need to remove the ribbons. If the medals are in plastic bags, send them as is.

Please make sure the medals are sent in a box that can withstand their weight.  We recommend securely taping the box on all openings to ensure the weight of the medals does not destroy the cardboard shipping box or open it in transit.  If the medals clank together in the box, we recommend adding layers of newspaper, paper or bubblewrap.

One of the best ways you can send in medals is by putting them in an extra or unwanted cinch bag from a race. We use these to bag up the ribbons to go to textile recycling (to avoid using plastic bags), and since they are cloth, they are recyclable too! Or use a clean unwanted race shirt or t-shirt.

Please do not use packaging peanuts or styrofoam.  We cannot recycle these, and they get crushed in transit from the weight of the medals.

Q: Where are you located?

A: We are in Massachusetts.  (This is our only location worldwide.) Medals are processed and recycled in the USA.


Our shipping address is:
Sports Medal Recycling
679 Washington St Unit 3-135
Attleboro, MA 02703

On June 1, 2024 our address changed from Suite 8-135 to Suite 3-135. If you have the old unit number on the label- no worries- the package will get to us.
NOTE: Shipping software may show the city as either Attleboro or South Attleboro. Either one is fine.

This is our only address. If you see another group with a similar sounding name – it is a scam or a fraud.

Q: What kinds of medals do you take?

A: We welcome any sports-related medals or academic medals that are made of medal.  Examples include medals from road races, triathlons, 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, marathons, karate, senior olympics, bowling, baseball, cross country, swimming, obstacle races, academic medals, honor awards, fitness awards, etc.  If your race medal is a bottle opener or has a bottle opener hook with the medal, or if your medal is a key chain, that’s fine.

When in doubt, just ask. We may ask for a photo to verify we can take your items.

New! We can now accept and recycle silver plated cups, plates and award trays. These must metal items only, with no wood or glass portions.

We cannot recycle: trophies, glass medals, wood medals, ceramics, paper ribbons, banners.  Please do not send these in.  Rule of thumb: if there is a metal medal attached to it, it’s fine. If there is no medal- then no.

Items we cannot recycle- these will be thrown in the trash. Please do not send plastic cases, foam inserts, rectangular ribbons (they are treated and are not a true textile).

Q: What happens to the medals?

A: They are scrapped at local recycling facilities that we have partnerships with.  The proceeds are given to us and we use the proceeds to fulfill our fundraising minimums for charity sports events.

Q: Will you reimburse us for shipping?

A: No, shipping costs are not reimbursed.  Unfortunately, it would defeat the purpose of fundraising.

For those that think recycling medals is cost-prohibitive: just think of you are paying to store these medals at home, in storage, or in your facility.  If you’re going to throw them out, think of the cost of your time, labor, gas/transportation/hauling, or the cost of waste removal. 

Q: Can you pick up the medals?

A: We can only pick up for large quantities in the northeast area.  Typically we’re looking for a minimum of 300 pounds for a pickup. Please contact us for more information.

Q: Can I buy medals from you for my events? Can you donate medals to me for my charity or school event?

A: No. We do not sell medals to race directors, or donate medals sent to us for recycling to other events. We are sent medals for the purpose of recycling only.

Q: Do you charge for the medals to be recycled?

A: No.  There is never a charge to any individual or organization to recycle medals.

Q:  When can we send in medals?

A: Anytime unless otherwise mentioned on our website. We receive medals and prepare them for recycling year round.  We make our recycling trips in good weather (aka during the spring through the fall). Occasionally during the winter holiday season we may ask people to wait until after peak-gift-giving season is over as we find packages arrive delayed or damaged due to the excessive demand on package carriers.

Q: Is anyone in your organization/team paid a salary or stipend for participating in this effort?

A: No. No one is paid.  The entire program/effort is an all-volunteer cause. Every activity- from recycling, to tax preparation, to donation management, to website design- is done by volunteers.

Q: Are you a charity yourself?

A: No. We are athletes who regularly fundraise for charity events and organizations.  We were concerned about reducing the environmental footprint of road races, and we saw this as a great way that we could help out and also give back to great causes.

We use the proceeds from the medals we scrap to support our fundraising minimums for charity events for these organizations. If we’re not currently fundraising for something, and we know someone who is, we’ll donate to them instead. 

We operate as a private business entity. We are not a non-profit organization, and we do not plan to register for 501c3 nonprofit status. After consulting with lawyers, business mentors, and other social entrepreneurs, we believe that this is the best legal operational structure for us to achieve the greatest impact while ensuring compliance with state and federal laws and income and tax guidelines.

Q: If I send my medals to you, is it tax-deductible?

A: No.  We are not a non-profit organization.  We are just athletes that thought this would be a great way to help raise funds, and have athletes and race directors “pay it forward” to support some great charities, while reducing the waste generated by endurance sports events. 

Q: Can you tell me how much money the medals I sent in raised?

A: We can’t track what an individual medal donation raised.  We bring the medals to be recycled in batches, and we combine medals from multiple shipments in these batches, so we wouldn’t have a way to track the proceeds from individual shipments. 

Q: Can we mention our race/event website or social media that we are recycling our extra medals with you?

A: Yes and thank you! We think that’s an awesome way to show your race participants and sponsors that you are concerned about the environment and you don’t want recyclable materials to go to a landfill.

Q: What items do you not accept:

A: We DO NOT accept any of the following- items made out of glass, plastic medals, trophies, plaques, just ribbons, banners (cloth or plastic), fire, mold or smoke damaged items.

Q: What about international shipments?

A: If you send us medals from overseas, yes we can recycle them, but we cannot reimburse for any shipping costs.  We do not have any branches or partners in other countries.

Q: Is there any time you don’t recycle what I send you?

A: On extremely rare occasions we have received collectible coins or commemorative medals where the value of the item is worth more than the proceeds of recycling.  In these cases, we reserve the option to resell these sent-in items, knowing that more proceeds will be raised via reselling than scrapping.  This has been the case for less than .001 percent of items we have received.

If you send us something we cannot recycle because we do not have the means to recycle it (such as trophies) then they are disposed of in the trash.

Q: How do you pick what charities you donate to and who you support?

A: We only make donations to United States based 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that are either charity partners of existing races or offer their own events with fundraising minimums.  We pick based on the races or events we are interested in and the causes we care about.  We try to not repeat donations to a specific organization as there are so many great causes to support.  We also check out the organizations on review websites such as Guidestar.

We do not accept unsolicited donation requests. 

Q: I run a non-profit 501c3 organization that has leftover medals. If I ship them to you, will you process them and donate the proceeds back to us?

A: Since our volunteers/ team is doing all the work (processing, recycling, tax paperwork, record-keeping, compliance, etc.) for our fundraising efforts, we pick the races, events and organizations that will receive donations. We do not promise or guarantee to donate back to any specific organization or cause.