What do I do with…?

Colorful Ceramic Dishes


Why is ceramic waste a problem? Since ceramics shatter easily, it is common to throw away chipped or broken items instead of repairing them. Furthermore, a big contributor to landfill waste is construction debris, which would include ceramic household items discarded during a remodel. Such items, including sinks, toilets, tubs, and tiles, are often still functional and could be reused instead of wasted.

Examples: Ceramic household items: toilet, sink, bathtub, etc., brick, clay, porcelain, tiles, cement, pottery, dishes


  • Consider updating the functionality of your items instead of replacing it entirely

  • Only remodel the parts of your home that would improve efficiency in energy and water usage


  • Repair chips and cracks with epoxy or oil-based pastels

  • Mosaic art and DIY home projects are a fun activity and often make for a beautiful display

  • Ceramics make for great bird baths and other gardening decor

  • Building material reuse centers such as Home ReSource & the Habitat ReStore take donations of working household ceramic items including garden pots, sinks, tiles, toilets, & tubs (check out their acceptance policy for more details)

  • Local thrift stores take donations of unwanted dishes, decorations, and outdoor pottery items.

    • Good Will

    • Secret Seconds

  • Jeannette Rankin Peace Center has a dish pantry available for anyone to borrow instead of buying new or using disposable dining ware


  • Ceramics can be recycled and made into things such as gravel, drainage systems, and rock basins

  • It is also possible to mill ceramics back to their clay form, which then allows you to use it to make tiles for example.

    • Missoula does not currently have a power mill to make this possible

  • Instead of throwing away your unwanted ceramics, try breaking them down (with a hammer and protective gear) and distributing the fine clay bits into your mulch or yard coverings. Clay is naturally occurring in some soils, and could be particularly beneficial for sandy soils.


Bargain Corner
200 S California St
(406) 543-4926

Good Will
2501 S Reserve St
(406) 549-6969

Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Donation Center
3655 Highway 200 East
(406) 549-8215

Home ReSource
1515 Wyoming St.
(406) 541-8300

Jeannette Rankin Peace Center Dish Pantry
519 S. Higgins Ave.
(406) 543-3955

Secret Seconds
1136 W Broadway St
(406) 549-1610

Secret Seconds
920 Kensington Ave
(406) 541-3210

UMG Thrift Boutique
400 W Front St
(406) 728-5538

Zoo Town Thrift
1444 W Broadway St
(406) 552-7732