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Recycling Contact Lenses

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Does anyone know what to do with old but still usable contact lenses? Can they be donated? Does it matter if they're soft or hard, semi-permeable lenses? I know the Lions Club used to take old eyeglasses.

jantoo from Kenosha Co, WI



Recent Answers

Here are the recent answer to this question.

By Mari45606/29/2009

Here's a link describing how to send your unused and unopened contact lenses to MADRE.

By Peter (Guest Post)08/18/2008

I have unopened lenses because my prescription just changed. Do they just go into the recycling hopper?

By Claudia-MD (Guest Post)08/07/2007

I imagine it would depend on the regulations of your state dept. of health. However, my guess is that, unless they are in unopened bottles, they would not be able to be donated because they might harbor bacteria or viruses that could infect the next wearer.

By Janice C. [18]08/04/2007

Thanks for the responses. did not address my question at all, but from the other replies, I've concluded that it probably isn't done. MADRE either does or does not accept contacts, depending on which posts you read. I guess I'll just keep my hard, semipermeable lenses as backups.

By Tom Disouza (Guest Post)08/03/2007

 Eye-lens compatibility: which type of lenses suits your eye type best or whether your eyes are suitable for lenses at all.
 Correct way to insert and remove the lenses.
 Features and types of contact lenses: soft, hard, disposable, extended wear, bifocal or therapeutic.
 How to take care of your lenses: correct way of cleaning, disinfecting, storing and using.
 Why, how and ways to avoid and treat contact lens problems such as: dry eyes, corneal complications, eyelid inflammation, contact lens conjunctivitis, giant papillary conjunctivitis etc.

Click on

Make an Informed Choice!

By joan pecsek [88]08/02/2007

I used to make contact lenses. Every time you put them in or take them out they bend a little. Eventually they will loose their shape(this can be seen only through a microscope but your eyes will know it) and become ineffective. There is really nothing you can do with old lenses but you are sweet to want to pass them on!

By Dave [1]08/02/2007

I don't think passing them on would be wise. It would be almost impossible to guarantee them to be disease free without spending more than they cost new. Its a great idea but I don't think it is feasable.

By Regina Arlauckas [26]08/02/2007

The Lions will not work with contact lenses - only regular eyeglasses (BTW - the Lions also collect hearing aids). A google search turned up the information listed below but I saw conflicting information on if they still accept contact lenses or not.

However if they are expired - they will not be accepted.

Helping Hands Coordinator
MADRE, An International Women's Human Rights Organization
121 West 27th Street, #301
New York, NY 10001
212.627.0444 (tel)
212.675.3704 (fax)

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