How to recycle broken headphones

Zero Hero Fiona asked “Do you know of a good way to recycle or reuse earphones that no longer work? I found a recycling website but they only take certain brands- mine are unbranded”

As ever the inspiring Zero Waste community came up with these fantastic ideas:


Suella wrote “Offer them to jewelery makers. The wires contain a very fine copper wire that could be used ornamentaly rather than structurally.”

Lyn offered “Make earrings out of the earpieces and plait or knot the cables to make a bracelet.


Ruth suggested “I would use the cable to tie up climbing plants in the garden. I end up buying plastic coated wire for such jobs. So now I’m thinking I’ll ask around friends to see if anyone has some of these!”

Textile art

Suella also suggested “The wires can be couched down to make great shapes for rubbings for kids as well as perhaps used as a sort of “thread” texture¬† in stitched pieces of textile art.”

House of Marley

According to Ruth, some of the range of House of Marley earbuds are made from FSc certified wood, organic cotton and recycled plastic, so at least you could purchase more of a zero waste product next time around.

I’d love to hear your ideas – what would you do with an old pair of broken headphones?

Posted in

Rachelle Strauss


  1. Sarah on January 19, 2016 at 1:53 pm

    The company to send headphones to for recycling is as follows:

    CYW by Urbanz
    Suite 1a, Nuffield Road
    PE27 3LX

    [email protected]

  2. Tejas on October 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    Can you give me detalied process to seperate each metals of the headphones?

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