What to do with your solar eclipse glasses

Photo: Will Clemente
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -- The total solar eclipse has come and gone, but those special glasses don't need to be thrown away just yet.

NASA alone distributed more than 1.5 million eclipse glasses to viewing locations across the country. That's a lot of paper that could be reused and recycled.

If your glasses are made by one the 12 NASA-approved vendors, they're good to go by the time the next solar eclipse sweeps over America in 2024, as long as they don't have any scratches, punctures or tears, according to NASA.

You'll want to double check the expiration date and ISO number on the inside label before putting them on again.

If that's too long to leave them sitting on your counter top, consider recycling.

All you have to do is pop out the lens before tossing the frames into the recycling bin.

Lenses could be re-purposed to a local camera store that processes film, according to the Space Science Institute. You'll want to double check with local camera stores beforehand.

Lastly, one of the easiest ways to make good with your glasses is by donating.

Astronomers Without Borders is collecting eclipse glasses to be sent to schools in South America and Asia, where the next solar eclipse will take place in two years.

The organization, who's mission is to provide science education in under-developed areas, says if your glasses meet safety standards and aren't damaged, they'll take them.

The organization says on their Facebook page that they'll post additional information on where you can donate your glasses in the next few days.