Durham County

What to do now with your eclipse glasses? Don’t throw them out, pass them on

Astronomers Without Borders is creating a program to recycle eclipse glasses for distribution to school children.
Astronomers Without Borders is creating a program to recycle eclipse glasses for distribution to school children. AP

Don’t throw those eclipse glasses away. They can be recycled.

Astronomers Without Borders will be collecting them so that school children can view future eclipses.

Madeline James, deputy director at The Scrap Exchange in Durham, said this is a great opportunity for people to pass their eclipse glasses along to others.

“A lot of people probably just chucked them after the eclipse,” James said. “But if they can be reused, that’s a good thing.”

Astronomers Without Borders said it soon will announce a program to collect and redistribute the glasses to schools in Asia and South America, where the next solar eclipse be visible in 2019.

“This is an opportunity for schools to have a first-hand science experience that they might not otherwise have,” Astronomers Without Borders president Mike Simmons told the science news site Gizmodo. “Many schools in developing countries don’t have resources for science education and this is a rare opportunity that inspires students and teachers and shows them that science is something they can do. It can be a ray of hope for young people who don’t otherwise see a path to a career like this.”

They are committed to providing astronomy-related education and equipment for developing countries and they hope to build a stockpile of the glasses through recycling. They haven’t announced where donors can send their old glasses, yet. They’re trying to spread the word before people throw them away.

Simmons said Astronomers Without Borders may also work with local astronomy clubs to receive them.

But if you have wanted to get rid of them now, send them to Astronomers Without Borders’ corporate sponsor, Explore Scientific, 621 Madison St., Springdale, Ark. 72762.

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6889, @JEJ_HSNews

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