WHAT TO DO WITH JUNK BASEBALL CARDS

One of the first options to consider is whether any of the cards have collector value, even if they appear to be in poor condition. Sometimes cards from older sets that are not in mint condition can still be worth something to collectors who are willing to accept cards with flaws. It’s worth taking the time to carefully look through the cards, even those in terrible shape, and check recent sales prices online for any rare or valuable cards that may be present. You never know when an otherwise “junk” card could be worth $5, $10 or more due to its players, year, or other factors affecting demand.

If after closely examining the cards there appear to be no cards with any collector interest or monetary value, even considering their condition, then the next best option is to donate them to organizations that can potentially put them to good use even if they are worn or damaged. Baseball card trade and collector shops may accept donations of bulk common cards to use for their redemption programs where customers can trade in dozens of common cards to receive packs, boxes or singles in return. While the shop benefits from the donated cards, this allows the cards to remain circulating among collectors rather than being thrown away.

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Local children’s hospitals, youth centers, baseball leagues or baseball card collector clubs are other good options to consider donating junk cards to. Even though the cards themselves may have no resale value, they can still provide enjoyment and entertainment for young collectors, patients or organization members who will appreciate them regardless of condition. Donating the cards ensures they see new life benefiting others rather than being trashed. It’s a good way to potentially encourage future collectors too. Most donation locations will even provide a receipt for tax deduction purposes.

If donation is not feasible, another environmentally-friendly option is to creatively reuse or repurpose the junk cards rather than throwing them in the trash. Ideas include cutting out player photos to make a scrapbook or display, using card fronts/backs as decoration by laminating and mounting on wood, or crafting them into mosaics, frames or unique works of art. The sticky backs could be reused by covering with contact paper to make personalized gift tags, labels or bookmarks. There is potential to get creative and upcycle the cards into new usable items rather than waste.

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As a last resort if none of the higher purpose options are suitable, at minimum the cards can be properly recycled rather than trashed. Make sure to check what type of paper waste and number of different recycling facilities accept in your local area, as procedures vary by location. Removing any non-paper wrappers or accessories first is recommended. Paying attention to proper recycling ensures the cards avoid the landfill and are reprocessed into new paper products instead. Responsible recycling should always be considered over throwing items directly in the trash.

Junk baseball cards have multiple higher purpose options rather than simply being discarded. With some effort, even cards in terrible condition may have value to collectors, charities or creative reuse/repurposing projects. Donating, upcycling or properly recycling provides the most environmentally-sound approaches if the cards truly appear to be “junk” quality. Taking the time to consider these alternatives means old baseball cards can avoid the trash and potentially bring enjoyment to others for years to come.

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