Recycling Spectacles – Leeds Drop Off Locations and What Happens to Them Next

Lions Clubs throughout the UK collect unwanted and damaged spectacles.. Tens of thousands of recycled spectacles are processed each year.  All donations are examined by a team of Lions and other volunteers in recycling workshops. Sorted pairs of glasses are then graded  prior to distribution worldwide.

The Leeds & Skyrack Lions Club collected over 20,000 specs for recycling in the year ending July 2023, thanks to everyone who helps this activity.

Glasses are also sent directly to contacts running eye clinics in Malawi, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Ghana, Nigeria and Nepal. In addition, volunteers from the ‘Unite for Sight’ charity are supplied with spectacles to take with them on missions to countries across the world.

You can recycle your Specs’ at the following locations

( cases are not recycled so you just need to deposit the glasses and frames )

G R Green Optometrist

2 Stonegate Road




Simon Falk Opticians

Roundhay Road




St James Hospital Eye Clinic

Chancellor Wing (ground floor)


Seacroft Hospital Eye Department







Arndale Shopping Centre



LS15 8ET



Unit 2, St Michael’s Court

Shire Oak Street




Scrap metal salvaged from broken and unsuitable spectacles also raises funds which support the sorting operation and help Lions Clubs to give financial support to eye related projects in the UK and overseas.

The spectacle recycling story
Chichester Lions Club began collecting spectacles for recycling back in 1967. The initiative really took off in 1980 with a delivery of 700 sorted specs to the Missionary Optical Society (MOS) in Devon for use in their clinics in Kenya and India.

Gradually other Lions Clubs started feeding their recycled spectacles through Chichester. So in 1985, a link was established with Le Havre Lions and Medico France. Over the following five years some 100,000 specs, 43,000 lenses, and 10,000 frames were sent to Medico France while still delivering to MOS in Devon as many pairs of sorted specs as it needed.

In 1988, another outlet was established through Vision Aid Overseas, and in 1990, a national campaign with Boots the Chemist and Help The Aged produced 460,000 pairs of specs in six months. Once sorted they went to places such as Cameroon, Senegal, Ivory Coast, Sri Lanka, India, Zanzibar, Jamaica, Bolivia and Brazil.

Lions clubs continue to collect hundreds of thousands of spectacles each year. They work with local opticians, shops, surgeries and other organisations that kindly host collection bins on their premises.

Spectacle donations arrive in all shapes and sizes. They are expertly sorted by Lions members and volunteers. Those sent onto Medico France are then cleaned and graded for use in eye camps in Africa, India and Eastern Europe.

Through contacts with individuals and other charities based in the UK, Lions make spectacles available for eye-camp projects overseas. Support is also provided for volunteers travelling on Unite For Sight projects who re-use spectacles for their individual projects.

Every year over 300,000 pairs of spectacles are sent to Medico France. Indeed, donations by UK Lions Clubs, account for more than half of the total number of the spectacles processed by Medico France.

Your help is appreciated.