How can I reuse or recycle old lever arch files or ringbinders?

lever arch filesBy complete coincidence, I’ve had a run of stationery questions over the last few days so I’m officially naming this week “Stationery Week” on Recycle This ;)

First up, we’ve had an email from Neil asking:

I have been asked about recycling lever arch folders and as they have three main components, I didn’t know how to recycle them. Please could you advise.

I’m a little confused as I can only think of three main components – the outside cardboard folder and the metal mechanism — is there something I’m missing? Either way, I’ve wondered this same thing before and with plastic covered ringbinders too.

Anyone know of any recycling schemes for them as they are? I presume if the cardboard folder bit isn’t plastic coated then once the metal has been pulled out, the cardboard can just go in for recycling as normal – is that the case? Can the metal be recycled too? What about the plastic coated card ones? I suspect they’re very difficult to recycle – anyone know for sure?

What about crafty ideas? If the cardboard is in ok condition, I imagine you could use transform it into a storage binder .. thing. (Words failing me… it’s Monday morning after all.) What I mean is, attach a pocket or strips of elastic to the inside and you could store, for example, knitting needles and the like in there — easy to browse but folds up neatly and sits on a shelf. Anyone done anything like that with it?

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9 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle old lever arch files or ringbinders?”

  1. Wouter says:

    You can use a part of the binder as a hanger for your towel.
    As illustrated on the website of Atelier-V in their book Umdenken.

  2. Renee says:

    Are we talking about binders? Give them to schools, or use them for scrapbooking or something.

  3. Kacy says:

    I think the three components were the metal, the cardboard, and the plastic sleeve that the cardboard is often wrapped in. I have reused mine a lot in various classes and for things like holding recipes and magazine articles. If they’re in really bad shape I recycle the cardboard and metal and then throw the plastic in the trash.

  4. anna says:

    I saw some designer solution for the metal meccanism that binds the sheet down; if you have extra of those, those will do an awesome towel hang for bathroom, kitchen etc.

  5. We have launched the worlds first stationery recycling programme for ring binders and lever arch files, whereby we separate the component materials and re-use or recycle each of them, check out our website

  6. Susie says:

    I would think that the “three-ring” portion (if we’re talking three-ring binders) could go on the wall and make a nice place to hang stuff with hooks. Coats, kitchen utensils, keys, stuff like that. If the locking mechanism is no longer strong enough, you could probably do a wire wrapping to reinforce it.

  7. Jeena says:

    Our company has tons of old ring binders, office files and lever arch files that until recently we simply trew away. One of our eam then got some labels that fit perfectly onto the spine from and online stationer
    we can not reuse them by just getting new labels.

  8. If you purchase your ring binders from online store. We will take in your old binders recycle the board and if in good condition will reuse your ring mechanisms saving the planet and you money.

  9. Dear Sir/Madam

    I am on the Committee of a small chairity and would like to enquire if there was any way to dispose of our old Ringbinder,folders, and suspention files for cash as donation to the charity.

    Thank You

    Philip Fisher

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