Recycling your old eyeglasses

Denver Lions has a new dropbox

The Denver Lions Club (founded in 1917) has been recycling eyeglasses for the benefit of those in need for many years. A new collection box, available to receive your eyeglasses 24/7, has just been installed at the Rocky Mountain Lions Eye Institute on the Anschutz campus of UCHealth at 1635 Aurora Ct, Aurora, CO 80045. The Denver Lions installed another outdoor box two years ago located at 1373 Grant Street. Over 80,000 pairs of eyeglasses have been collected in that box.  

The best way to keep your old glasses out of the landfill is to donate them to a Lions Club. Used eyeglasses are processed by Colorado Lions and other volunteers. Processing involves sorting broken and scratched glasses from usable ones. The usable glasses are then cleaned, sanitized, strength of the lenses determined with a Lensometer, labeled, and packaged. Broken and scratched glasses are sold for scrap and funds are used to support recycling.  

Colorado Lions have been recycling eyeglasses since 1937. During the year prior to the pandemic, the Colorado Lions distributed 65,000 pairs of glasses. Some 23,000 pairs were sent to Peru, Nepal, Honduras, Mongolia, Kenya, Cuba, and Guatemala. Another 42,000 pairs were sent to Feed the Children, an NGO that distributes glasses and food to many countries. Some processed glasses are distributed by Lions Clubs among income qualified communities in Colorado but, most are sent to developing countries where a tremendous need exists.

Most Lions Clubs throughout the United States and the World collect, and process used eyeglasses. The World Health Organizations estimates that 120 million people are visually impaired because of uncorrected refractive errors (far and near sightedness). In many cases vision can be corrected with eyeglasses. The lack of eyeglasses denies children and adults opportunities for education, employment and a better quality of life. As Lions like to say: “you need to be able to see to succeed”.

The Denver Lions Club leads programs to help people see and succeed. As an active organization, our members raise money, volunteer and direct sight and family focused programs. The Denver Lions have carried out eyeglass missions in Mongolia, Ethiopia, Ecuador, Senegal and Haiti. On these mission, volunteers determine prescriptions and distribute recycled glasses. Such Missions are carried out by many organizations around the world.