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Is Eyeglass Recycling a Waste of Money?

(Photo: torbakhopper)

Recycling your old eyeglasses may make you feel better, but, in Bloomberg View, Virginia Postrel argues that it’s actually a waste of money.  Postrel tracks the journey from eyeglass donation box to final destination — glasses are first shipped to their destination, where they’re sorted and evaluated for usefulness (only 7 per cent of donations are actually useable).  The numbers aren’t pretty.  “In a paper published in March in the journal Optometry and Vision Science, four researchers compare the full costs of delivering used glasses to the costs of instead delivering ready-made glasses in standard powers (like my drugstore readers, but for myopia as well),” writes Postrel. “The authors find that recycled glasses cost nearly twice as much per usable pair.” (HT: Marginal Revolution)