Can Board Games Be Recycled

Can Board Games Be Recycled? [Ultimate Guide + Practical Tips]

Here’s whether or not board games can be recycled:

Board games can be recycled and it’s recommended to do so instead of simply throwing them away.

There are plenty of ways to recycle used board games such as:

  • Return them to the manufacturer
  • Give them to a charity organization
  • Sell them
  • Use them to make a cardboard journal
  • Use them for DIYs

Board games, no matter how expensive, always have a shelf life.

Most of these don’t need batteries or services of any kind, but the materials and contents get worn out or misplaced.

In this article, I’ll show you why it’s advised to recycle them and what you can do instead of throwing them away.

Can You Throw Away Board Games?

You can throw away board games but that’s not the best option for the environment as recycling them is much better.

Board games are usually made of cardboard, plastic, wood, etc. and most of these are recyclable and reusable.

But sending all of these to a landfill isn’t a smart thing to do and it is also environmentally dangerous.

Usually, people never think about the options that they have when getting rid of their old board games.

They’ll simply dump it all in a trash can without realizing that not all of it is a waste. 

Can Board Games Be Recycled - overfilled trash can

Why Should You Recycle Board Games?

Because this will help to preserve the environment as you won’t be contributing to the already massive landfill problem worldwide.

Recycling sounds tedious and tiresome to many of us, but it’s actually pretty necessary if we want to sustain a healthy lifestyle and environment.

If you’ve been wondering why recycling is essential in the case of board games, here’s what you should know:

1. Board games consist of both toxic and non-toxic compounds

From plastic bags to metal screws to cardboard boxes, some materials do, while others do not have much environmental impact.

However, there’s typically no detailed description of the packaging of board games.

Thus, you’d have trouble figuring out what to discard and what to keep.

2. Board games and their upgrades are quite costly

These games are typically not that cheap, especially if you consider all the available expansions and upgrades that can be purchased.

The money you spend on them may not seem like much to you, but for some, it’s worth a lot.

Giving away board games is much more thoughtful than throwing them away.

3. The individual contents of board games can be reused at home

If you’re willing to get creative, you’ll find plenty of uses for the individual contents of the games.

You can create makeshift tools as well as come up with quite a lot of decoration hacks using all the different figures and gameplay items.

Can Board Games Be Recycled - cardboard walled town

How to Recycle Old Board Games

Here’s how you can go zero waste when it comes to board games with these 5 recycling hacks:

1. Return Them to the Manufacturer

Without a doubt, this is one of the biggest reliefs when you can’t figure out any other way to properly salvage these games.

Companies such as Mattel, Hasbro, Ravensburger, Asmodee Editions and others have collection centers operating in many locations across the globe.

Check the box to find who the manufacturer is and see if they have a recycling center near you.

They take back all the worn-out and abandoned pieces that they once manufactured. 

Whether you have complete sets or only a few pieces lying around, you can find the recycling center and return the game there.

They’ll recycle the material for new games, which is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly.

2. Give Away in Charity

Charity institutions such as orphanages, schools, international funds, refugee centers, etc. also collect board games and similar recreational stuff.

Once you’ve enjoyed the gameplay, you can give the less fortunate ones a chance to have their share of enjoyment.

You can collect all the board games and their pieces lying around, pack them in a box, and donate them to charity. 

They’ll sort out the contents, create new sets from all the material they’ve collected, and distribute the games for others to play.

3. Sell Them

This one’s a bit trickier as it may not work for everybody.

Now, if you have a limited edition board game or something that’s near antiquity, you can consider selling it to a willing buyer.

Just take a few cool pictures of the entire set and sell it online through Facebook, eBay, or other similar platforms.

If you’re lucky, you’ll find a generous buyer who will carry on playing the games you don’t want any longer.

4. Make a Cardboard Journal

A board game’s central piece is made up of cardboard material.

It’s covered with spectacular graphic designs that don’t fade out easily.

In fact, the board itself almost always remains intact as they tend to be quite sturdy.

It’s the other pieces that get broken or lost.

So if you’re stuck in a similar situation, you can probably make a splendid cardboard journal with the game’s board. 

Just cut out a design and bind it with loose sheets of your choice.

You can make these into scrapbooks, calendars, reminder journals, photo albums, or even use them for school work.

Journals with decorated covers are usually a bit pricey, but you’ll get this one basically for free!

5. Use them for DIYs

Scrabble tiles, currency notes, chess pawns, dice, and other game pieces are pretty useful for miniature DIYs.

You can use these to make magnets for your fridge or make accessories for your furniture.

For example – you can use the Scrabble tiles to craft name bracelets or even decorate frames.

As for the dominoes tiles, they’re a great way to make your own wall clock. 

The Internet is full of ideas that are easy and worth trying out.

Just search for hacks with your favorite game pieces on YouTube and get crafty!


Board games can definitely be recycled and we strongly encourage you to do so.

Throwing them in the trash can will only worsen the worldwide landfill issues.

But being smart and caring by salvaging them the right way is the best option for the environment.

Alternatively, you can even use your obsolete board game for various DIY applications.

Now, have you ever utilized your old board games in a unique and unusual way?

And have you ever recycled any of these games?

Feel free to leave your answers below!

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