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How to Recycle Pottery: Tips for Salvaging Broken Pieces

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by Jen Weisner  • Updated: February 27th, 2023  •  6 min read    Pottery Advice

If you’re like most people, you probably have a few broken pieces of pottery lying around your house. Instead of just throwing them away, why not recycle them? It’s easier than you might think! 

In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for recycling pottery. We’ll also show you how to salvage broken pieces and turn them into something new and beautiful. So don’t throw away that broken pottery— recycle it instead!

What is Pottery Recycling and How Does it Work?

Pottery recycling is the process of breaking down used pottery so that it can be used again to create new pieces. The first step in pottery recycling is to gather up all the broken or damaged pottery. 

Once you have a good supply of pottery pieces, it’s time to start breaking them down into smaller pieces. This can be done by hand or with a power drill equipped with a chisel bit. 

After the pottery is reduced to small pieces, it can be sifted to remove any dirt or debris. The final step is mixing the pottery shards with water and clay, then molding them into new shapes. 

With a little creativity, you can transform recycled pottery into unique and beautiful works of art.


The Benefits of Recycling Pottery

When it comes to recycling, pottery is often overlooked. However, recycling pottery can have a number of benefits. 

For starters, it conserves resources. Every piece of pottery that is recycled means one less piece that has to be produced from scratch. This reduces the need for mining and other extraction activities, which can have a negative impact on the environment. 

Furthermore, recycling pottery also reduces energy consumption. Instead of having to fire new pottery in a kiln, recycled pottery can simply be reused. This can save a significant amount of energy, particularly if the pottery is recycled locally. 

Finally, recycling pottery helps to create jobs. Collecting and sorting pottery can create employment opportunities in local communities and selling recycled pottery can provide an important source of income for craftspeople and artists. In short, recycling pottery can have a positive economic, environmental, and social impact. 

So next time you’re thinking about throwing out an old mug or plate, consider recycling it instead.

Types of Pottery That You Can Recycle

Many people love pottery for its beauty, durability, and versatility. However, even the best-made pottery can eventually succumb to wear and tear. When this happens, most people simply discard their broken pots and buy new ones. However, there is another option: recycling. 

Recycled pottery can be used to create new and unique pieces that are as lovely as they are eco-friendly.


Crushed pottery is exactly what it sounds like—broken pieces that have been pulverized into small bits. These bits can then be used as a decorative element in mosaic work or mixed with grout to create a textured finish.


Reformed pottery, on the other hand, involves taking larger pieces of broken pottery and reforming them into new shapes. This type of recycling requires more time and effort but can result in some truly stunning creations. So the next time your favorite vase meets an untimely end, consider giving it a second life through recycling.

Can Bisqueware Be Recycled?

Not all bisqueware can be recycled into clay that can be used for other purposes since the type of clay varies. Greenware must be soaked for an extended period of time, which might range anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.

Instead you can recycle bisqueware to create new pieces of pottery, or it can be used as a construction material. In addition, recycling bisqueware helps reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. As a result, recycling bisqueware is good for the environment and can help conserve natural resources.

How to Recycle Pottery in Your Community

It’s easy to recycle pottery in your community! Here’s what you can do:

  • Ask your local pottery studio if they accept recycled materials.
  • Check with your city or county government to see if they have a pottery recycling program.
  • Bring your pottery to a local recycling center that accepts ceramics.
  • Contact a local artist or school to see if they’re interested in using recycled pottery for art projects.
  • Donate your unwanted pottery to a thrift store, community center, or other organization.

 By taking these simple steps, you can help reduce waste and keep pottery out of landfills!

Tips for Recycling Pottery at Home

Pottery is a versatile and sustainable material that you can recycle at home in several ways. One way to recycle pottery is to use it as drainage in planters. Simply drill a few holes in the bottom of the pot, and it will allow water to drain while still providing support for roots. 

Another way to recycle pottery is to use it as mulch. Shards of pottery can act as a barrier against weeds, and they can also help to retain moisture in the soil. 

Finally, pottery can be used to make artwork or home décor. Glue or tape pottery pieces together to create unique mosaics or use them as accents in paintings or collages. With a little imagination, you can recycle pottery into something new and beautiful.

Interesting Facts About Pottery Recycling

Pottery recycling is the process of reusing pottery pieces that have been deemed no longer usable. This can be done by breaking the pottery into smaller pieces and using it as gravel or by crushing it and using it as filler in concrete. 

Pottery recycling is not only good for the environment but can also be a fun and creative way to repurpose old pottery.

Here are some interesting facts about pottery recycling:

Pottery recycling is a great way to reduce waste and create beautiful new art pieces from old ones. 


By recycling your broken pottery, you are doing your part to help the environment and reduce the amount of waste that goes into landfills. Not only is this good for the planet, but it’s also a great way to reuse materials and save money. 

Jen holds a Master's degree in Fine Arts and has been teaching pottery for over 15 years. She has exhibited her work in numerous galleries and has been featured in several prominent pottery publications. Read more
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