How can I reuse or recycle over 1000 mugs?

We’ve had an email from Andy:

I work for an Events company based in Newmarket, Suffolk, and I have got over 1000 mugs, which as come back from an event and we need to recycle.

Do you know where I can do this?

We’ve got plenty of home & garden reuses for old/broken crockery but I suspect most people would find it hard to reuse over 1000 mugs as plant pots or for kids painting sessions – so we’re looking for mass reuse, redistribution or recycling into something more useful than landfill.

As with the other recent substantial amount of new stuff query, it might be worth contacting a local homeless shelter or soup kitchen, or another similar charity that could use them en masse.

As an absolute last resort instead of landfill, they could probably be crushed down for rubble/hardcore – but it would obviously be better to reuse them before that.

Any other suggestions?

(Oh and event organisers, check out our “how can I reduce the waste I receive at conferences etc?” post – reduce in the first place so you’re not stuck looking for reuse and recycling ideas afterwards!)

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8 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle over 1000 mugs?”


  1. analice says:

    Hello, I started to work w/ ecoart this year, using objects ppl usually throw away such as old wood, plastic bottle, frames, windows, shoes, cutlery, CDs, etc. I can imagine so many things I can do w/ these mugs: candles, lamps, mosaics, pencil holders…
    If Andy doenst find anything to do w/ these mugs or anywhere to donate them, I am accepting them! ;)
    analice

  2. suki says:

    One thing we started doing at work is bringing in extra mugs from home to keep in our kitchen area for people to use. This way we are cutting down on the use of disposable cups.

  3. Mal says:

    Why not give it to sheltered accomodation, charities for them to reuse, rather than them using paper/plastic cups can use these again and again!

  4. Alice says:

    Veggies of Nottingham may want them, may want some of them, or may know other people who want them.

    Phone: 0845 458 9595 / 0115 960 8254
    E-mail: sumac@veggies.org.uk

    http://www.veggies.org.uk/sumac/

  5. Elisa says:

    Not that the 1,000 mugs you might have are the colored ones exhibited in the photo, but I am seeing one great wall of mini shelving with, well maybe not 1,000 but 100 mugs for display! Repetition makes a great statement. In addition to donating, art work could make good use of them too!

  6. Olia says:

    Such great amount of mugs could be incorporated into concrete mix, when building large structures. Works same as gravel.

  7. cmdweb says:

    You could look at donating them to local primary schools and playgroups for use as paint pots or plant pots.
    My kids are always coming home with sunflowers or tomato plants that they’ve planted in the class and schools don’t always have the resources to buy simple things like plant pots for the kids to do this.

  8. Lucy Stuart Lee says:

    I am involved with the local NCT group (National Childbirth Trust charity) and we are looking for some mugs for the playgroups we run for parents / carers in the coffee break. Are these still available? Thanks.



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