How can I reuse or recycle disposable lighters?

LighterSo we’ve covered cigarette packets and ashtrays but what about the related flame devices?

I realise the most obvious answer to this – like with disposable razors – is don’t use them – use a refillable one instead. But, for one reason or another, a lot of people can’t/won’t do that so end using disposable ones.

So what can be done with them?

Assuming it can be separated from the metal mechanism, can the plastic be recycled? Anyone know what number it is or does it vary?

And what about the mechanism itself – any reuses for that? Or the lighter as a whole?

(Photo by pulp-o)

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15 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle disposable lighters?”


  1. mercutiom says:

    This is a tough one, because while I know some of the individual pieces may be recyclable, there are parts (like the flint) that I’m not sure of. You can actually refill the whole thing and use is again, but it’s difficult and you waste a lot of fuel if you don’t know what you’re doing. I think this is one of those areas where there should be a push on the production companies to reuse the product to ensure it is recycled properly.

  2. Andy says:

    When I was a Scout, we re-used the flints within the mechamism, by gluing several to a small piece of wood and a used a snapped section of hack saw blade to make your own fire lighter.
    By striking the blade across the flints, you create enough spark to light kindling.

  3. allen says:

    They make a pretty good target for shooting practice!

  4. c5 says:

    play with them just like when you line up dominoes to form a design when the first one is triggered to fall.

  5. Phil says:

    theres probably quite a few things you can do w/ em. i found they make a nice lampshade. after they are completely dead of course.

    sorry the pix are crappy, but you get the idea.

  6. evan davies says:

    take the flint out either heat it up and and chuck it on the floor it makes loads of sparks or put it in a reusable lighter when the flint runs out

  7. chris says:

    not buy them and get a zippo zippos rock they last forever and are made in bradford pa still

    but how do you refill a butane disposable i just got an electric igniter one?

  8. Needy McCoy says:

    hey can you send me a message on how to properly dispose of butane lighters, and if you can not recycle them then how are they hurtful if you do dispose of them by recycling them.
    Thank You
    Needy McCoy

  9. Javier says:

    You can use it to make a nice art composition.

  10. Johnny Sachs says:

    Take off the shiny bit, carefully take off the wheel and collect the flint. Stretch out the spring so it can hold the flint then heat it up with a second lighter and get a friend to flick it creating a nice fireworks.

    Then you just throw the plastic lighter case on the ground hard, and if there is pressure left it should pop with a pleasing bang

  11. Selvyn Mario Quijada says:

    I actually refill lighters for a living(part time.).i charge $.50 to refill a lightl
    Er. Some gas stations sell lighters for a $1.50. Some have favorite lighters.
    I hate seeing good lighters on the side just because they ran out of butane.
    Im just doing my part for the planet and economy.lol. 323 243 0777.

  12. gerry says:

    RECYCLING BIC LIGHTERS – EXPERTS CLAIM THEY ARE HAZARDOUS HOUSEHOLD PRODUCTS AND CAN’T BE RECYCLED- I called BIC to find out the best way to recycle a Bic lighter and they told me it can’t be recycled and to throw them in the garbage but further research with disposal experts say that there are metals in the lighter that would contaminate ground water and that under no circumstances should they be disposed of in the garbage and that they should be treated as hazardous household product and be brought to collection centers with unused paints, chemicals and batteries etc. I find it disturbing that Bic recommends putting them in the garbage!



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