TAMPA (FOX 13) - Those who got their hands on a pair of sold out solar eclipse glasses got to witness a little piece of history on Monday, but once the moon had passed, a lot of people were left wondering: What do I do with the glasses?
An organization called Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) will take them off your hands.
AWB plans to redistribute the specs to schools in South America and Asia, where the eclipse will pass in 2019.
Mike Simmons, the president of AWB said they are asking people to hold onto their glasses, rather than throwing them away, as the organization works to set up drop off locations nationwide with astronomy clubs.
"This is going to take a very large effort for processing these, making sure they're all good ones, not any of the fakes, making sure that they're not damaged. Straightening them out and staking them up," said Simmons.
In addition to reaching out to a local astronomy club, Simmons recommends people mail their glass to Explore Scientific, an Arkansas-based business AWB is partnering with to gather used glasses.
Waste Management officials in Tampa recommend that people consider recycling their glasses as well.
"It's important that we reduce our carbon footprint and we do everything that we can to protect and save our environment," said Mark Wilfalk, the director of the Tampa Department of Solid Waste.
While the glasses may seem small, tens of millions of paper frames thrown away nationwide can add up to a lot of trash.
Wilfalk said residents do not have to drop off their glasses at a recycling facility. They can simply toss the glasses in their home recycling bin.
People can also check with local schools to see if science departments can use the solar eclipse glasses for future projects.
For more information on Astronomers Without Borders, visit http://www.astronomerswithoutborders.org/
Glasses can be mailed to Explore Scientific at 621 Madison Street, Springdale, AR 72762. To learn more about Explore Scientific, visit http://www.explorescientific.com/