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How should I dispose of those unused keys?

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Do I just throw them away?  They must have some value.  Are they recyclable?

Getting those unused keys off your keyring reduces wear on your ignition.  It has other benefits too.  Extra unusable keys consume your time.  Every time you select a key to use, you spend time selecting the right key and filtering out the other keys.  The extra half a second it takes may seem trivial, but it adds up.  Add a few more keys and drop them in clutter filled backpack or purse and now you have spent a more than a few seconds sorting and locating the single key you need, not to mention the weight you haul around.  This happens every time you reach for the keys.

At Simplekeyring.com, we are minimalists at heart.  We want the best gear with the least overhead.  We also think that what you do NOT have is just as important as what you have.  Having unnecessary things consumes energy and time and we want to get rid of things that don’t produce.

The most important thing to consider when getting rid of old keys is not what to do with them, but rather what NOT to do with them.  The typical place they go is straight into the junk drawer.  Some people put them in a mug or hang them on a string.  People seem to have a hard time getting rid of old keys.  Often, it is difficult to recall exactly which lock they open.    After they leave your keyring, they often lose the last bit of context and they drift further into obscurity.  Some people have piles of old keys with little recollection about their application, but they still hang around, often scattered in multiple locations.

  •  If you don’t use them every week, take them off your primary keyring and put them on a secondary keyring.
  •  If you have no idea what they unlock, create a third container or keyring label it as such.
  •  If you vaguely recall what the key was used for and cannot part with it, wrap it in masking tape and write the date and everything you know about its purpose, put it on a keyring with the other misfits.

So how do we properly dispose of the unwanted keys?  Simple, keys are metal and they recycle really well.  The easiest thing to do is toss them in the recycle bin.  There are charities that try to raise funds and if you are an institution with bins of old keys they may make sense.  See http://keyforhope.org/ if you fall into this category.  Some people try to find other ways to recycle them with hobbyists or in crafts projects.  That is fine too, just don’t use those as an excuse and let them pile up in random drawers.  Why not just throw them in the recycle container and move on?


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