|Eyeglass Recycling Center
a Lions Club Project Notebook
WHAT: A Community Service Project to recycle used eyeglasses!
WHY: Each year millions of eyeglasses are trashed because the owners need new prescriptions and therefore do not need their old lenses. Many people throughout the world can utilize these old glasses. The Lions have set up centers that will take these old glasses and recycle them for use in third world countries. It is now possible to place these glasses with needy adults here in the US.
HOW: Included below are the minimum requirements for a Eyeglass Recycling Center:
1. SPACE - at least a 12? x 12? air conditioned room
2. VOLUNTEERS (as many as you can get)
- approx. cost of $2700
lensometers are recommended
table (4? x 8?) w/sorting bins (plastic milk crates work great)
b. Wash station, double kitchen sink with warm running water, drying rack and drying cloths
c. Lensometer station w/bags
d. Second sort station w/sorting bins
CONTACT (Lenscrafters or trucking company)
table - 4? x 8? table with plastic bins (1 - 6 persons)
The table is made with a 4? x 8? sheet of plywood divided
by two rows of plastic milk crates across the center.
Crates should be marked into categories including but not
limited to: single
vision, bifocal, trifocal, readers, frames, children?s glasses,
prescription shades, non r/x shades, gold/antique.
Workers can stand on each end of the table.
There should be a trash container on each end of the table.
As boxes of glasses are emptied on the end of the table the
first sort takes place. Each
pair of glasses is looked at carefully and assessed for usability.
If they are scratched beyond use they are discarded.
If they are usable, they are sorted into one of the categories
across the center of the table. Broken
frames are discarded and loose lenses are also thrown away.
Cases in good condition can be tossed into a box at the side of
(1 - 3 persons)
The wash station needs to be at least a double kitchen sink
with warm (not hot, it can ruin the plastic frames) running water.
The first sink is filled with warm soapy water, the second sink
is filled with warm vinegar water (approx. 2 cups per full sink of
water). Each pair of
sorted glasses is washed individually by hand, another usability check
can be done at this point, soft toothbrushes are good tools for
cleaning the edges of the frames and nose pads.
Sometimes you need WD40 or some other type of adhesive remover
also. After washing the
glasses are placed in the rinse water and then onto a drying rack.
As soon as possible after being removed from the rinse water
the glasses are individually dried by hand with a soft cloth to
provide a clear surface for the lensometer to read through.
Cloth baby diapers or cotton dish towels work great.
One person can operate this station on their own but it works
much faster with at least two persons, a third person can be added to
sort the glasses before washing and to dry after rinsing.
Glasses are placed into crates and moved to the lensometer
station for reading.
c. Lensometer (1 - 3 persons per lensometer) 2 lensometers recommended
The lensometer is the heart of the recycling program.
If we do not know the prescription of the glasses, what good
are they to us, how can we use them?
Each pair of glasses must be read on the lensometer to
determine their prescription. This
is a brief description of the use of a lensometer; more detailed
instructions will be given on placement of an instrument.
The first step is to notice if you are working with a single
vision of bifocal pair of lenses.
If you think they are single vision do a double check by
glancing through the lenses at something with straight lines across it
to determine if you have a pair of progressive (no line) bifocals.
The lines will curve at the bottom of the lenses if they are
bifocal. The right lens
is read first and the prescription recorded at the top of a special
zip-lock plastic bag. If
the lenses are bifocals the ?add? is read and recorded on the
bottom left side of the writing space on the bag.
The left lenses is then read and recorded below the right lens,
it is not necessary to read the bifocal add on the left lens.
If the machine you are using measures the Pupilary Distance
(PD) of the glasses it is recorded on the bottom right side of the bag
with a circle around it. See illustration 1.
One person can operate a lensometer on their own but the
addition of one or two partners recording the prescriptions on
alternate pairs of glasses can speed up the process.
A good three person team can process approximately 80 pairs of
glasses per hour.
The second sort is used to divide the bagged glasses into the
correct categories. If
you are re-stocking a system of glasses for use by a screening program
the sort will be very specific by the prescription of the right eye to
fulfill their needs.