How to safely recycle empty gift cards ?

Old Dec 18, 20, 11:36 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: PDX|AKL|AMS|GVA|CPT - or somewhere in between
Programs: DL DM; 2MM
Posts: 2,332
How to safely recycle empty gift cards ?

I am sitting on a lot of empty plastic gift cards and do not want to throw them in the trash, because the materials used to manufacture plastic gift cards are toxic.
The number of new gift cards manufactured annually has the potential to add 75 to 100 million pounds of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) material to landfills every year.
PVC is a big problem for the environment. It doesn't degrade naturally, and it can leach heavy metals and other pollutants into the ground. When it's burned, it can release poisonous toxins into the air.

What are you doing to get rid of your used-up gift cards ?
Travelomania is offline  
Old Dec 18, 20, 11:39 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 1,721
Originally Posted by Travelomania View Post
What are you doing to get rid of your used-up gift cards ?
I put them in the trash. Seemingly they can't be recycled.

https://www.creditcards.com/credit-c...ds-recyclable/
danpeake is offline  
Old Dec 18, 20, 2:37 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: JRF
Programs: Marriott Platinum, United Silver, National Executive
Posts: 1,498
It's not a matter of if you can recycle plastic (because it's possible to recycle everything), it's whether your local recycling facilities can able to handle such a task. Almost nowhere in the world does anyone do this, nor would it be commercially viable. Also, recycling is not free (energy-wise), so consider if causing incremental environmental harm is worth it to recover some marginal value out of low-value materials as opposed to it being destroyed by burning and mitigation measures taken to reduce the environmental impact that results.
trooper likes this.
msp3 is offline  
Old Dec 18, 20, 4:48 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: S Cal
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, United Silver, Marriott Plat, IHG Plat, Hilton Gold, Club Carlson Gold
Posts: 1,119
I like to use zero-balance cards for household tasks, so I keep a bunch around.

An example would be drywall repair. Old cards work just as well as joint knives to spread and flatten spackle (joint compound) when filling small holes.

Another example: I recently had to repair some spots on a wrought iron fence that had rusted through. Bondo (or whatever product you're using to fill holes) needs smoothing after you apply it.

Another example: old cards work well with any wood filler, so I use them on wood projects as well.

I do confess that I then toss them in the trash after they've been reused on some home project. But at least the cards have had a second life before they are discarded.
mdword, Adirondacker and Carrisco like this.
GetawaysRus is offline  
Old Dec 18, 20, 7:30 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by GetawaysRus View Post
I like to use zero-balance cards for household tasks, so I keep a bunch around.

An example would be drywall repair. Old cards work just as well as joint knives to spread and flatten spackle (joint compound) when filling small holes.

Another example: I recently had to repair some spots on a wrought iron fence that had rusted through. Bondo (or whatever product you're using to fill holes) needs smoothing after you apply it.

Another example: old cards work well with any wood filler, so I use them on wood projects as well.

I do confess that I then toss them in the trash after they've been reused on some home project. But at least the cards have had a second life before they are discarded.
Right on.

I use them as scrapers when waxing skis or cleaning up anything that needs scraping. I've also used them as backing for little crafts like making placards etc.
trooper and Carrisco like this.
mdword is offline  
Old Dec 18, 20, 11:07 pm
  #6  
ogg
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 306
I throw mine in the garbage (as my county waste management folks say I should). But if you really want to be creative, here are some suggestions:

https://www.thebalanceeveryday.com/r...t-cards-904518
ogg is offline  
Old Dec 19, 20, 11:05 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: VPS
Programs: IHG Spire, Delta Silver
Posts: 4,517
If the card is attractive, you can make interesting guitar picks out of them
rickg523 likes this.
beachmouse is online now  
Old Dec 19, 20, 11:10 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 17
I'm still waiting for when the IRS audits me and I can submit all the receipts, money order stubs and physical cards as proof of what I am doing..... 😁
TyPo311 and brc01 like this.
joemeckler is online now  
Old Dec 19, 20, 12:34 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: EWR
Posts: 749
I've looked into this a couple times, as I have boxes and boxes of used cards (I use the long white sports card boxes). The only thing I can find really find is Terracycle, but you have to pay to recycle them, and it isn't cheap.
Bigzamboni is offline  
Old Dec 19, 20, 1:02 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Hopkinton, MA
Posts: 220
I've sold them on eBay. They don't bring a lot, but something's better than nothing. I'll sell a stack of 100 for like $3 plus shipping.
Car Jack is offline  
Old Dec 19, 20, 2:30 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by Car Jack View Post
I've sold them on eBay. They don't bring a lot, but something's better than nothing. I'll sell a stack of 100 for like $3 plus shipping.
Why would someone buy empty/no-value gift cards? What am I missing? Just to go through transaction histories or to skim some info to use in phishing schemes?
travelforphotos is offline  
Old Dec 19, 20, 2:46 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by joemeckler View Post
I'm still waiting for when the IRS audits me and I can submit all the receipts, money order stubs and physical cards as proof of what I am doing..... 😁
+1000

I've usually done about $500K/yr in MS* and I want a solid paper/plastic trail for where every penny of that $500K in MO deposits came from.
TyPo311 likes this.
Chris58 is offline  
Old Dec 19, 20, 3:03 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 279
Leave them in stacks around the house or in the glove box of your car. When a would-be thief hits that, they may grab them and run off excited. Just don't leave them in plain site in your car. Could work against you.
Newgene is offline  
Old Dec 19, 20, 3:38 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: VPS
Programs: IHG Spire, Delta Silver
Posts: 4,517
Originally Posted by travelforphotos View Post
Why would someone buy empty/no-value gift cards? What am I missing? Just to go through transaction histories or to skim some info to use in phishing schemes?
Arts and crafts projects?
beachmouse is online now  
Old Dec 19, 20, 6:54 pm
  #15  
ogg
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 306
Originally Posted by Chris58 View Post
+1000

I've usually done about $500K/yr in MS* and I want a solid paper/plastic trail for where every penny of that $500K in MO deposits came from.
I used to feel the same way. But there were just too many cards taking up too much space and too much work to keep them organized. So I started scanning them in a sheet-feed scanner (you can scan about 8 at a time) and tossing them instead--that provides the solid paper trail in case of an audit. It's organized and pretty fast too.

After a few years of doing that, I decided even scanning was a waste of time. If I'm ever audited, there would be tens of thousands of cards to check. No auditor is going to bother. The receipts are good enough--I still scan those. I can't imagine why any auditor would have to check all the actual cards.
ogg is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: