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How to Get Rid of Old Trophies

A young girl holding a trophy.
Barry Austin/Digital Vision/Getty Images

There’s nothing quite like the thrill of holding a trophy in celebration once victory has been assured. But after a while, all the dust it gathers on the shelf may outweigh those happy memories. Children’s trophies may be treasured in the moment, but dumped in a closet and forgotten soon thereafter. You have more options for getting rid of them than simply tossing them in the trash.

Sell Them

Don’t expect to get rich off your old trophies – the plastic ones handed out over the past few decades have little value other than sentimental. That said, if a trophy’s old enough, there may be enough value in the materials that you can get some money for it. An older trophy cup made of sterling silver, for example, has too much value to throw away. Uniquely designed trophies also may have some value, as might a trophy attached to a clock, a penholder or something else that makes it practical as well as pretty.

Your trophies might not have much value to you, but others may be able to use them. Nonprofits and charities may be able to re-purpose them for their own awards programs, so your old soccer trophies may become treasures for a new generation. An arts groups may be able to use them as props in a theater set, and local athletics organizations can buff them up and hand them out to new champions. Only donate trophies in gently used condition, and remove any nameplates first.

Recycle or Trash Them

Some part of trophies may be recyclable. The plastic, marble, glass and metal can be separated and reused, or placed in the appropriate recycling bin. Other portions of the trophy may not be recyclable at all. You’ll have to take apart the trophies, sort out the parts based on what they’re made of and recycle them in accordance with how that process is carried out in your area.

Be Creative

Trophies don’t have to be solely for display – indulge your crafty side to re-purpose part or all of the trophies into something different. A plastic athlete that once topped a trophy can be transformed into a bottle topper that adds distinction to your wine bottles, or as a replacement hook for a creative take on a coat rack. Championship cups can become table centerpieces. The use of old trophies and parts in artistic or craft projects is limited only by your imagination.

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