Eyeglass Recycling

With the help of their communities and tens of thousands of eye care professionals, Lions collect millions of used eyeglasses every year, and either recycle them for cash or send them to 17 recycling centers around the world.  There the glasses are cleaned, sorted and boxed, ready to send on medical missions around the world.

The Johnson City Lions work with every eye care professional in Johnson City and Washington County as well as businesses, churches and community groups to collect and recycle thousands of discarded glasses every year.

Frequently asked questions

Where can I donate glasses?

Recycle unused glasses wherever you see this box. Thank you!

Every eye care professional in Johnson City and Washington County collects them (some for their own charitable efforts, some for ours, and we’re OK with that).  Many churches also collect.  A large collection box is located in front of the Johnson City WalMart on Browns Mill Road.

 What sort of glasses do you want?

Everything, no matter the condition!  Johnson City’s collection are recycled for cash – the money earned supports sight conservation efforts in our service area.

Who gets the glasses?

Although most clubs in East Tennessee, including Johnson City, recycle the glasses they collect for cash, many clubs send still send glasses to a Lions recycling center.  Almost all are distributed in poor countries throughout Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, southern Asia, and the Pacific Islands.  Restrictive laws in most developed countries make it impractical to distribute there.

Are they distributed free?

Yes.  In almost all cases, the recipients receive an eye exam and glasses free of charge.

Sorting glasses to take to Roanoke

Do you use everything?

Almost.  Loose lenses and completely plastic frames are discarded.  Some cases in like-new condition are re-used, but most are discarded.  If in doubt, donate it and we’ll determine.

How can I help?

 Where can I learn more?

At the Lions International web site – click here.

Or email us with your questions

I need eye glasses.  Can you help?

Go to the Sight Conservation page.


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