How to Dispose of Unused Matches?


Matches are one of the oldest tools for starting a fire still in use today. Many bars, restaurants, and pubs give out matchboxes whenever you visit them. If you are not a smoker, these boxes can pile up. You may be clueless as to what to do with these boxes.

This article will explain how to dispose of unused matchboxes and the dangers of improperly disposing of them. 

How to dispose of unused matches?

The best thing to do when you have a collection of matches sitting idly in your kitchen drawer is to give it away to someone who will use it. If however, you cannot find anyone who will take them, then you need to soak them in water for a few hours. This will make them incapable of catching fire. 

Once they have soaked for a couple of hours, throw them in the trash. Keep in mind that waterproof matches will not be deactivated by water. So you need to light them one by one, then soak them in water for a couple of minutes and then throw them out with the trash. 

A better way to use the used matchsticks is to compost them. You may use them to do arts and crafts, but let’s face it, you probably won’t. And one day you will wake up with a pile of matchsticks you don’t even need.

Matchsticks are made of wood, with the top being a mix of sulfur, potassium chlorate, and powdered glass. The side of the matchbox contains phosphorus and powdered glass. When lighting a match the friction converts the potassium chlorate to potassium chloride and it starts to burn. Once it fully burns out, these matchsticks are fully compostable. The sulfur and the potassium chloride assist in the decomposition of the match sticks. 

Why is throwing out unused matches in the trash risky? 

Matches can catch fire at any given minute. The last thing you want is for your garbage can to catch flames. This is a serious fire hazard. The fire may start much later on when it’s in the garbage truck or while it’s in the landfill.

There can be devastating consequences for any oversight regarding this issue. A fire can cause property damage for your house or the municipality and it may put lives at risk. 

It is extremely important you dispose of unused matches properly. 

Are matches environmentally friendly? 

Matches are not the most environmentally friendly option out there for starting fires. They are better than plastic lighters which are disposable once the gas inside runs out. However, in the US alone, 500 billion matchsticks are used annually. This requires approximately half a million aspen trees to be cut down each year to provide matches for the US alone. 

This is not environmentally sustainable. Especially when there are better, more sustainable options out there. There are electric lighters available that are rechargeable. There are refillable gas light lighters as well. 

We are in the era of sustainability, we cannot afford to make choices that harm the environment anymore. To reduce the rate of deforestation, we need to make sure we use reusable and sustainable products. Switching to reusable lighters is an easy, yet impactful change we can make very easily, and we really should not wait any longer. 

Conclusion: 

Matches are one of the oldest tools for starting a fire still in use today. Many bars, restaurants, and pubs give out matchboxes whenever you visit them. If you are not a smoker, these boxes can pile up. You may be clueless as to what to do with these boxes. 

This article explains how to dispose of unused matchboxes and the dangers of improperly disposing of them. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Dispose of Unused Matches

Can I throw unused matches into the trash? 

Yes, only after soaking them in water for a few hours. If the matches are waterproof then you have to first burn the matches, then soak them in water for a few seconds and then throw them out. 

Are matches biodegradable? 

Yes, matchsticks are made of wood and they are 100% biodegradable. 

Are matches recyclable? 

No, matches are not recycled usually. This is because they are composite materials. The match head would affect the quality of the pulp if it had been recycled. 

Are matches compostable? 

Yes, used matches are compostable. They can be composted with other materials like paper, and cardboard. 

Are waterproof matches biodegradable? 

Yes, all matches have a wooden stick and are biodegradable. 

Are matches considered hazardous waste? 

No. In most cases, matches are not considered hazardous. It may even be dangerous to send matches to a hazardous chemicals collection plant. These places contain tons of extremely flammable liquids, sending a product that starts fire could be potentially lethal. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reference: 

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  3. Krosofsky, A. (2022). Here’s How to Safely Dispose of Your Used Matches. Retrieved 6 February 2022, from https://www.greenmatters.com/p/what-to-do-with-used-matches
  4. Can You Throw Away Unused Matches?. (2022). Retrieved 6 February 2022, from https://canyouthrowitaway.com/unused-matches/
  5. How do you dispose of matches?. (2022). Retrieved 6 February 2022, from https://moviecultists.com/how-do-you-dispose-of-matches
  6. Notification. (2022). Retrieved 6 February 2022, from https://photos.hgtv.com/photo/how-to-dispose-of-matches-properly
  7.  Sundwal, M. (2022). Can You Compost Used Matches? (What To Do With It). Retrieved 6 February 2022, from https://savingliving.com/compost-used-matches/
  8. Are Matches Compostable? (And Are They Recyclable?) – Conserve Energy Future. (2022). Retrieved 7 February 2022, from https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/are-matches-compostable.php
  9. How to Downsize When You Don’t Want To | FlatRate Moving. (2022). Retrieved 7 February 2022, from https://www.flatrate.com/blog/moving-tips-how-to-get-rid-of-hard-to-throw-away-items/
  10. Lighters Or Matches? Which Is Better For The Planet? | 1 Million Women. (2022). Retrieved 7 February 2022, from https://www.1millionwomen.com.au/blog/lighters-or-matches-which-better-planet/


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