UPDATE: How to Recycle Your Eclipse Glasses

After the eclipse, you can send your eclipse viewing glasses on a journey around the world. Donate on campus before April 17.

UPDATE:  A message from Rebekkah Berryhill, manager, care of grounds, University Facilities Management.

"I hope that all of you were able to take in the celestial wonder on Monday.  The Office of Sustainability has partnered with Astronomers Without Borders to collect any used or unused eclipse viewing glasses that folks may still have on hand.  We all know the drill, mementos kept on a shelf in an office collecting dust until they ultimately end up in a landfill.  Astronomers Without Borders global programming provides impoverished communities opportunities to learn about and safely observe the next solar event.  KSU has placed collection hubs in Residence Halls, at the Kent Student Center and in the DI Hub.  As a curator, if you are getting requests to recycle glasses, please designate a small box or container to collect the glasses and then drop them off with a Residence Hall Director, or directly at the collection points in the Student Center Information Desk or the DI Hub 2nd and 3rd floor entrance yellow barrels.  The final date for collection will be April 17th, 2024."

Collection Points:

  • DI HUB 2nd Floor Entrance.
  • DI HUB 3rd Floor Entrance.
  • Kent Student Center Information Desk.
  • Residence Hall Director Offices, Korb Hall.


Now through April 17.

So, the eclipse happened. Now what to do with these blackout sunglasses?

The next total solar eclipse that will be visible in Ohio will be in 2099. That’s a long time to hang onto a pair of paper sunglasses.

They can’t be put into a regular recycling bin because they’re two-in-one mixed materials: paper and film.

Kent State University and Main Street Kent are here to help solve this post-eclipse dilemma. After the eclipse, look for collection stations on campus and in downtown Kent to drop off your eclipse glasses.

Solar Eclipse Glasses


Kent State and Main Street Kent will then take the collected glasses to the Portage County Recycling Center. From there, they will be sent to Astronomers Without Borders, a group that distributes the eclipse glasses to underserved communities and schools around the world that are in the path of future eclipses.

Kent State Eclipse Graphic

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Collecting these eclipse glasses is an exceptional expression of Kent State’s core values and commitment to building a more sustainable future.

Melanie Knowles
Melanie Knowles, Kent State's manager of sustainability

“Kent State is always working to reduce waste,” said Melanie Knowles, manager of sustainability at Kent State. “Donating your glasses for reuse is a great way to keep usable items out of the landfill. And it’s also an opportunity to help others around the world to view an eclipse safely, by passing along your eclipse glasses.”

Knowles is coordinating Kent State’s eclipse glasses collection and recycling efforts and Edward Butch, a member of Main Street Kent’s board of directors, is managing collection for the city of Kent, through Main Street Kent.

“It’s wonderful that this is happing during Earth Month when we’re already celebrating our planet and being especially conscious about our environment,” Knowles said. 

Donate Eclipse Glasses


“The eclipse is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most people,” she said. “Passing on eclipse glasses through Astronomers Without Borders is an amazing way to feel a part of our planetary community.”

Jon Jivan's photos of the solar eclipse


Later Collection Opportunities

If you miss the collections on campus and downtown, the Portage County Recycling Center, 3588 Mogadore Rd. in Kent, will be accepting eclipse glasses for recycling through April 19. Their offices are open weekdays from 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. There will be a drop box in their office lobby. 

POSTED: Thursday, April 4, 2024 01:41 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 10, 2024 04:17 PM
Phil B. Soencksen
Kent State Office of Sustainability, University Communications and Marketing