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This one goes out to all my eco-friendly shredder pals. Does anyone know of an organization that takes guitar strings and recycles them? I run through quite a few packs per month on a heavy gigging cycle and I feel kinda bad tossing all that nice metal into the trash can.

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What a great question! My cat loves to play with the strings, so I leave them for some time. then they go into the trash, thats sad. – Silver Light Mar 31 '11 at 8:51
Wow - never even thought about this. I just ditch mine straight in the bin so the cat doesn't get them (mine is a stupid cat - she'd cause herself an injury on a clear floor:-) – Dr Mayhem Mar 31 '11 at 9:11
I save my phosphor bronze strings to throw into the fire pit when we have a fire out on the patio. They make really pretty flames. When I clean out the ashes, I just chuck the strings in the trash. :( – Anonymous Apr 4 '11 at 12:29
up vote 21 down vote accepted

The Second Strings Project

I think this is exactly what you are looking for.

From the site:

...a campaign to collect and distribute used guitar strings to needy musicians throughout the world. This effort will help keep musical creativity alive...Many touring artists use a set of guitar strings for a few gigs and then change them, and throw them away. These strings are like gold in some places on this planet. Send them to me, and I'll get them into the right hands...and as you know there are plenty of six string guitars out there with five stings on 'em.

Sorry about the delay in answering. I knew I had seen this somewhere, but couldn't quite put my finger on it. It took me a while before the google-fu worked.

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Don't think that project is active anymore – DRL Apr 20 '11 at 22:05
@DRL - What makes you say that? It's still on his home page, it has it's own Facebook page... – gomad Apr 21 '11 at 19:49
Oh perhaps i'm wrong then – DRL Apr 21 '11 at 22:56
And what do you do with broken strings, and what happens to the strings after the needy musicians can't even use them any more? While nice, this is reusing and not recycling. – Matthew Read May 28 '11 at 2:53
@Matt - and if he was only interested in recycling metal, why bother asking here? Why not just collect them and send or bring them to any metal recycling establishment? I think that the tacit intention was to reuse them as guitar strings, regardless of the use of the word "recycling." – gomad May 31 '11 at 17:02

There really isn't any way you can "recycle" a single steel string, it's pretty much useless.

But when you have a lot of them, tie them together and trow it in a metal recycling dumpster- at least that way the process of melting and sifting out the heavier metals will be easier for the recycling company.

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Actually they make pretty good jewerely too... & – skystar Apr 1 '11 at 16:12

you can try taking them to any metals recycling place.

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I think the issue there is that they are made of a mishmash of different metals. A standard recycling facility wouldn't really know what to do with them. – Jduv Mar 31 '11 at 12:30
Different metals have different melting points. They boil it down to a single liquid and then using a principle similar to stills they can seperate the different metals. – Anonymous Apr 1 '11 at 11:52
usually they wont take anything with iron in it, the nickle in the strings is what they would want, or even gold. – InternalConspiracy Apr 1 '11 at 23:54

turn them into guitar string sculptures and sell them :)

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why the downvote? – bluevoodoo1 Mar 31 '11 at 19:57
Because the question author is looking for a way to recycle the strings, not use a bunch of them for a one-time project. How many guitar sculptures can you make? – neilfein Apr 2 '11 at 3:19

Our French association, Music Solidarity, recycles all guitar and bass strings! We transform it in action for solidarity and sustainable development. Our website:

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