How to Dispose of Candles in Glass?

One of the many amenities of modern lives is scented candles. Whether you want to unwind in the comfort of your own home after a stressful day, or you want to create a romantic ambience for you and your partner, candles are a must. Many companies in the United States sell premium scented candles for every mood. 

If you love candles, most of them are sold in glass or tin jars. Now you probably wondered what is the best, most sustainable way to dispose of a glass jar of the candle. I am here to help you dispose of them least harmful to the environment. 

In this article, I explain how to dispose of candle wax and glass jar in the most sustainable way possible. 

How to Dispose of Candles in Glass? 

Candle wax is not recyclable, the glass jar it comes in, however, is recyclable. Let me first go over what you should do with unused candle wax. 

You have a few options when it comes to preparing the candle jar for recycling, if the candle is finished, you can just take the wick out, and scrape the remaining wax off the walls to clean the jar. Make sure you throw the wick and the scrapings in the trash.

If you have more wax in the jar, you can either melt it and pour it into another container or freeze it and scoop it out of the jar. Make sure you remove the wick. 

Instead of throwing away candle wax, you can make a DIY candle out of it. Or you can save it for a wax sculpture if you’re feeling extra creative. 

As for the tin jar, you can recycle it in the metal recycle bin, or the general blue recycles bin. You need to be mindful of the glass jars, however. I will go over your options for recycling glass jars below. 

How to recycle a candle jar: 

Many candle jars are made of soda ash; these types of glass material can be recycled via the curbside recycling program. Soda ash is what is used to make glass bottles and jars for food packaging. Thus candle jars that have the recycling label on them can be recycled via the mainstream recycling system. 

However, some jars are made of other materials, these have different melting points than common glass made of soda ash, the differing melting point makes them unsuitable to be recycled together. When mixed, they downgrade the quality of the cullet and the resulting product is very prone to breakage or shattering. 

Some companies like Yankee Candle, Chesapeake Bay Candle, and WoodWick have teamed up with TerraCycle to recycle their empty candle jars. 

Keep in mind that the most sustainable way to recycle your candle jars is to recycle them through the local system. However, here’s how you can recycle them via Terracycle.

  • Get the label from their website.
  • Fill the cardboard box with the empty jars and containers. You do not need to clean them in any way. 
  • Fill the box before you mail it to Terracycle. 
  • Make sure there is no paper covering or bubble wrap with the items.

Reusing candle jars: 

Most of the modern candle jars are quite fancy and made to last. You do not need to recycle them if you can find a way to reuse them. You can use wax scrapings to make your candles. 

You can use the candle jars to keep food items, pens, stationary, or any other items. You can also use them to keep Christmas lights or use them for a DIY project. Always remember, reusing is the best way to use an item, if you cannot find a use for it, then recycle it. 


In this article, I explained how to dispose of candle wax and the glass jar in the most sustainable way possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Dispose of Candles in Glass 

How to recycle glass candle jars? 

Glass jars are usually recyclable by the mainstream recycling system in your city. If the glass is not made of soda ash, then you may need to look elsewhere to recycle your candle jar. In the United States, TerraCycle has a program with some candle companies where you can send your candles to them for recycling. 

Is candle wax recyclable? 

No, it is not recyclable. 

Is candle wax biodegradable? 

Candle wax made from natural sources like soy or beeswax is deemed biodegradable. However, candle wax made from petroleum like paraffin wax releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere and is not deemed biodegradable. 

Do you have to clean candle jars before recycling? 

Yes, the wax and wick inside the candle will contaminate the cullet in the recycling facility. If you throw out dirty jars into the recycling bin, there is a high chance they will not be recycled. 

When should I throw away a candle? 

You should not burn your candle all the way down to the bottom of the jar. This could potentially cause a fire. Keep around ½ an inch of wax at the bottom when you stop using a candle. 

What can I do with partially used candles?

You can scoop the wax out and use it to make new candles or wax sculptures. Or you can throw out the wax. The candle jar can be recycled in most cases. It makes sense to find a way to reuse the jar before you consider recycling. A large jar can be used as a decorative piece or as a holder for a variety of items like pens or hair clips. 


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