FAQs

Q: Where are you located?
A: We are in Massachusetts.  Medals are processed and recycled in the USA.

Q: What types of medals will you recycle?
A: We welcome any sports-related medals or academic medals that are made of medal.  Examples include medals from road races, triathlons, 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, marathons, senior olympics, bowling, baseball, cross country, swimming, obstacle races, academic medals, honor awards, fitness awards, etc.  If your race medal is a bottle opener or has a bottle opener hook with the medal, or if your medal is a key chain, that's fine. We can also take pins.

When in doubt, just ask. We may ask for a photo so we can show it to the recyclers first before you send them in.

We cannot recycle: trophies, glass medals, wood medals, ceramics, paper ribbons, banners.  Please do not send these in.  Rule of thumb: if there is a metal medal attached to it, it's fine. If there is no medal- then no.

Q: What happens to the medals?
A: They are scrapped at local recycling facilities that we have partnerships with.  The proceeds are given to us and we use the proceeds to fulfill our fundraising minimums for charity sports events.

Q: How do I send in medals?
A: If you are an individual/group and you have one box or a small number of medals to send in, we strongly recommend sending them via USPS as their flat rate shipping often is the cheapest option (flat rate up to 70 pounds).

You do not need to remove the ribbons. If you have several boxes to ship, then using Fedex or UPS may be be cheaper/more appropriate.

Please make sure the medals are sent in a box that can withstand their weight.  We recommend securely taping the box to ensure the weight of the medals does not destroy the cardboard shipping box.  If the medals clank together in the box, we recommend adding layers of newspaper, paper or bubblewrap. 

One of the best ways you can send in medals is by putting them in an extra or unwanted cinch bag from a race. We use these to bag up the ribbons to go to textile recycling (to avoid using plastic bags), and since they are cloth, they are recyclable too!

Please do not use packaging peanuts or styrofoam.  We cannot recycle these, and we've found that the weight of the medals breaks these up.

Our address is:
Sports Medal Recycling
679 Washington St
Unit #8-135
South Attleboro, MA 02703

Q: Will you reimburse us for shipping?
A: No, shipping costs are not reimbursed.  Unfortunately, it would defeat the purpose of fundraising.

For those that think recycling medals is cost-prohibitive: just think of what you are paying to store these medals at home, in storage, or in your facility.  If you're going to throw them out, think of the cost of your time, labor, gas/transportation/hauling, or the cost of waste removal.  Most who have sent in medals have used USPS flat rate shipping as the cheapest option. 

Q: Can you pick up the medals?
A: We can only pick up for large quantities in the northeast area.  Typically we're looking for a minimum of 300 pounds for a pickup. Please e-mail us at sportsmedalrecycling@gmail.com for more information.

Q: Do you charge for the medals to be recycled?
A: No.  There is never a charge to any individual or organization.

Q:  When can we send in medals?
A: Anytime. We receive medals and prepare them for recycling year round.  We make our recycling trips in good weather (aka during the spring through the fall).

Q: Is anyone in your organization/team paid a salary or stipend for participating in this effort?
A: No. No one is paid.  The entire program/effort is volunteer.

Q: Are you a charity yourself?
A: No. We are athletes who regularly fundraise for charity events and organizations.  We were concerned about reducing the environmental footprint of road races, and we saw this as a great way that we could help out and also give back to great causes.

We will use the proceeds from the medals we scrap to support our fundraising minimums for charity events for these organizations. If we're not currently fundraising for something, and we know someone who is, we'll donate to them instead. 

Q: If I send my medals to you, is it tax-deductible?
A: No.  We are not a non-profit organization.  We are just athletes that thought this would be a great way to help raise funds, and have athletes and race directors "pay it forward" to support some great charities, while reducing the waste generated by endurance sports events. 

Q: Can you tell me how much money the medals I sent in raised?
A: Unless it is a very large number of medals at once (as in hundreds), unfortunately we can't track what an individual medal donation raised.  We bring the medals to be recycled in batches, and we combine medals from multiple shipments in these batches, so we wouldn't have a way to track the proceeds from individual shipments. 

Q: Can we mention our race/event website or social media that we are recycling our extra medals with you?
A: Yes and thank you! We think that's an awesome way to show your race participants and sponsors that you are concerned about the environment and you don't want recyclable materials to go to a landfill.

Q: What items do you not accept:
A: We DO NOT accept any of the following- items made out of glass, plastic medals, trophies, plaques, just ribbons, banners (cloth or plastic), fire, mold or smoke damaged items.

Q: What about international shipments?
A: If you send us medals from overseas, yes we can recycle them, but we cannot reimburse for any shipping costs.  We do not know of anyone who does this type of recycling in other countries.

Q: Is there any time you don't recycle what I send you?
A: On rare occasions we have received collectible coins or commemorative medals where the value of the item is worth more than the proceeds of recycling.  In these cases, we reserve the option to resell these sent-in items, knowing that more proceeds will be raised via reselling than scrapping.  This has been the case for less than 1 percent of items we have received.

If you send us something we cannot recycle because we do not have the means to recycle it (such as trophies) then they are disposed of in the trash.

Q: How do you pick what charities you donate to and who you support?
A: We only make donations to United States based 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that are either charity partners of existing races or offer their own events with fundraising minimums.  We pick based on the races we are interested in and the causes we care about.  We try to never repeat donations to a specific organization as there are so many great causes to support.  We also check out the organizations on review websites such as Guidestar.