You certainly can recycle old lamps, but how and why you want to do so affects your options. A bulky, old lamp takes up substantial space in a landfill, so you'll want to avoid throwing it away if possible. Whether you choose to recycle your lamp at a waste management facility or repurpose the lamp, there are a few things to consider. Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the lamp still work or does it need rewiring?
- Is the lamp still interesting or attractive to you in any way?
- Does it have sentimental value?
- Would you like to do something creative with the old lamp and/or its components or is donation a better option?
If the lamp is in good working order, repurposing it should be simple. If the wiring is shot, you can rewire it yourself or hire an electrician to do it for you. Junk shops or antique stores often have an electrician on staff who can do the work for a small fee.
Next, consider what aesthetic issues you have to address. Is it the color that's unattractive? Is the shade horrendously ornate or neon pink? Those are both simple fixes since a new shade and a can of spray paint are each inexpensive, easy-to-find items. Shades are sold at a variety of retailers and repainting, mirroring or even papering an undesired color on the base could keep the lamp stylish and still relevant in your current home's look.
If you don't have the time or inclination to revamp your lamp, you could always set it in an unobtrusive corner, rather than front and center where it's more likely to be noticed and commented on. Also, try pairing the lamp with different household items. You might improve your lamp's look by placing it as a contrast color next to a houseplant or near an interesting knickknack. Experiment with other items in your house to see what works.