Can You Recycle Jigsaw Puzzles And Boxes? (Full Guide)

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Jean Richardson

Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

Most of us have a puzzle or two somewhere around the house that’s missing pieces and just throwing it away seems wasteful. Therefore, that might make you wonder how to properly dispose of them.

Furthermore, if you are wondering whether or not you can recycle jigsaw pieces and boxes, you’re in the right place! Here is what I discovered.

Can You Recycle Jigsaw Puzzles And Boxes?

You can recycle jigsaw puzzle pieces and their boxes. However, make sure that the boxes and puzzle pieces are separated if they’re made from different materials. Furthermore, if there are different materials mixed together, it might prevent them from actually being recycled. 

For more information on recycling jigsaw puzzles and boxes, donating to thrift stores, and reusing jigsaw puzzles, read on! 

How To Recycle Jigsaw Puzzles And Boxes

Fortunately, you can put puzzle pieces into your recycling bin but, before doing so, there are a few steps that need to be taken.

Up next, we’ll outline exactly what you need to do to make sure you’re doing the most good when you recycle these items. 

Figure Out What Materials The Puzzles Are Made Of

The first step to recycling a jigsaw puzzle and boxes is that you need to determine what they are made of. 

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This is because there are multiple materials that a puzzle piece can be made with, including:

  • Paper or cardboard
  • Plastic
  • Wood

However, where you recycle the puzzles depends on your local recycling facilities and what items they accept. 

Although most recycling places do take cardboard and plastic, there might be restrictions on the other materials. 

Find A Recycling Receptacle

If you live in a neighborhood that offers curbside recycling pickup, then your job is almost done. 

Therefore, just drop those puzzle pieces and boxes in the bin and make sure you put them out by the street on the right day.

Otherwise, you’ll need to find a recycling receptacle that accepts the materials you need to recycle.

Luckily, more and more of these recycling stations are popping up in parking lots here and there, so keep your eyes peeled and make a drop-off. 

Disposing Of Jigsaw Puzzles And Boxes

Disposing Of Jigsaw Puzzles And Boxes

Even if a recycling facility doesn’t take your puzzle pieces, you can ensure that they are put to good use or disposed of correctly. 

Furthermore, there are some different ways to dispose of your puzzle pieces other than trying to ensure they are all together and in a recycling bin.

Additionally, below I have listed a few options that you can take if your local area does not do recycling bin pick-up!

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Make A Donation

Donating puzzle pieces is a great alternative to trying to recycle them. 

Therefore, give them to thrift stores or even donate them to:

  • Local hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Charities
  • Schools 

Furthermore, calling your local donation centers can provide you with more information about donating your jigsaw puzzles.

Just be sure that prior to donating them you have all the puzzle pieces to make it complete.

Reuse Jigsaw Puzzles And Boxes

You can reuse jigsaw puzzles for plenty of art activities, but if you’re looking to get them out of your house completely, check with your friends to see if they might want them.

Additionally, crafters are always looking for puzzle pieces regardless if they are old, new, or missing pieces. 

Furthermore, there are a lot of things that puzzle pieces can turn into, and crafters know just how to do that. 

So a great place to find these crafters and what they make are on sites like Pinterest, Etsy, and even online marketplaces.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on whether you can recycle candle jars and containers, whether you can recycle juice boxes, and whether you can recycle foil and latex balloons.


When recycling puzzle pieces and boxes, it can be as simple as putting them in the recycling bin, or you might need to take them to a different recycling receptacle if your local recycling program doesn’t accept these items. 

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However, if you choose to go a different route, there are other ways for you to dispose of those pieces. For example, donating, giving to thrift stores, or upcycling into crafts are some great alternatives to disposing of these items. 


  • Jean Richardson

    Jean Richardson is a lover of knowledge, in all forms. He has spent over 15 years as a high school teacher, instructing students in history, geography, mathematics, and more.

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