Recycling- What We Can and Can’t Recycle and Shipping Tips

What we can recycle:

Any sport or academic medals made of METAL.

Ribbons attached to the medals.

New or used medals welcome.

Plastic bags that medals come in- leave the bags on.

What we CAN’T RECYCLE: Please do not send these as they will be thrown out.


Do not send: Plaques of any kind.

Do not send: medals or awards that are made of glass, wood, ceramic, foam or plastic. Anything that is not metal cannot be recycled here.

Do not send: banners of any kind (cloth or plastic)

NO STYROFOAM OR PACKAGING PEANUTS. These get crushed/destroyed in transit.


NO PLASTIC MEDAL CASES OR FOAM INSERTS: These are not recyclable in our area and will be thrown out. Please remove any plastic cases before shipping.

NO RIBBONS THAT DO NOT HAVE A MEDAL: If they are the long, rectangular ribbons that often have a small piece of paper or cardboard on the back for you to write info or statistics- these are not true textiles and we can’t recycle them.

NO RUSTED OR DISCOLORED MEDALS: These may not be safe for us to handle. If your medals have turned green or sooty, please throw these out.

NO ITEMS THAT ARE DAMAGED: While recycling is our goal, the safety of volunteers comes first. If you have medals that were damaged or ruined by fire, flood, mold, mildew, pets, or any other environmental cause- if the medals aren’t safe for you to handle or keep, then they’re not safe for us to handle either. Please dispose of these.


For packing: if the medals do not completely fill the box you’re using, use bubble wrap, air bags, paper, cardboard or newspaper (we can recycle all of these). Medals do not need to be wrapped individually- the key is they just need to not shake or slide around the box.  We find this damages the boxes in transit. 

If you have leftover cloth bags (cinch, drawstring or tote) from events or races, you can use the bag in place of newspaper or bubble wrap to ship the medals. This actually helps us as we use the cinch bags to transport the ribbons to textile recycling! Some people have also used old race shirts for packaging (we can recycle these and we’ve even used some as our throw-away layers in races, which then get collected and donated!)

Cheapest shipping options: USPS Flat Rate boxes (one rate for up to 70 pounds).  These boxes are available for free at your local post office or via an online order, and are available in small, medium and large flat rate sizes.  Please carefully tape the boxes, including all openings, to ensure the box doesn’t break in transit due to the weight of the medals.

Ship as a group: we’ve had workplaces, gyms, running clubs and teams collect medals together and ship them in one box to save on postage.