How to Recycle Your Old Trade Show Display

Categories: Going Green, Trade Show Tips

When the time comes to replace your older trade show display, it can be a challenge to figure out what exactly to do with all that hardware. “Should I just throw it all away?” is a question that is asked quite often, many times with a bit of hesitation in the voice. After all, that trade show display put in a lot of work. However, there are some safe and responsible alternatives you can do to dispose of that trade show display and upgrade to something more modern and fresh.

Upcycle That Old Booth

Just because your trade show display hardware may be a little worse for wear does not mean it is now useless. Trade show display hardware can last for years and years, and sometimes all it takes to breathe new life into these displays is a graphical upgrade. See if there is information on your graphics that is not relevant to your brand or customer base anymore. Perhaps the overall design itself needs to be updated to reflect how your company or brand has evolved to present day. Sometimes a new coat of paint, as it were, is all it takes to make the actual trade show display hardware seem newer and fresher.

In addition, just because the time has come for you and your trade show display to part ways, it does not mean it’s usability has been depleted. You may see the hardware as trash, but it could easily be another trade show exhibitor’s treasure and the final piece they need to complete their signage collection on a tight budget. Websites such as Ebay or Amazon are excellent ways to recoup some costs off of your trade show display hardware. Craigslist is another option for those looking to perhaps sell a bit more locally, which will potentially increase your profit margin by saving on shipping costs to the buyer. When it comes to selling your exhibition displays, is another great resource. On top of specializing in buying and selling new and used booths, they also have a unique recycling program for your old trade show displays. If you are aware of another company who can use your specific kind of trade show display hardware, feel free to be generous and donate your hardware to someone who can use it.

Recycle Your Trade Show Display

We can all do a part to help the environment, and a big part of that arguably starts with recycling. While some of the more antiquated trade show displays may be made of plastic parts, that is generally not the case anymore. Either way, you should check with your local recycling center, since different kinds of plastics could actually be recycled nowadays. Regardless, some of the more modern trade show displays are actually constructed of aluminum, which serves many different functions such as portability as well as rigidity. However, it also makes trade show displays such as pop ups and banner stands completely recyclable. Aluminum products have been recyclable for a long time, and are actually the best material that can be recycled to date. Products that are biodegradable also share that category of items that are feasible to recycle, and luckily for you, your fabric graphics fall right into that category. In theory, an entire fabric pop up can be recycled from head to toe. Vinyl graphics are, however, a different story. They are not made of fabric, and are thus not biodegradable like their fabric kin, as they are petroleum based. While not every recycling center can recycle or reuse this kind of material, it is indeed possible. Some additional research may need to be done to figure out where the closest recycling facility is located to you that can shred vinyl graphics, but the effort is most certainly worth it.

Using “Green” Materials

If you are looking to aid in reducing your environmental footprint, then going “green” might be the overall method that suits you the best. By guaranteeing that the materials you are using for your trade show displays are indeed environmental friendly and conscious, you are able to do your part and ensure that at the end of the trade show displays’ lifespan, you are able to recycle the hardware. There are some companies who actually specialize in these kinds of green materials.’s sole focus is on providing booth spaces that are composed entirely of environmentally responsible materials, while working with you to make sure that your company or brand is also represented correctly from a visual design standpoint. In addition, if your brand is one that focuses on nature, the outdoors, health, or has another kind of tie-in to being environmentally conscious, utilizing green displays can be a way that not only exemplifies this business focus and outlook, but amplifies it as well.


In short, there are plenty of options out there to recycle, reuse, or revamp your trade show displays that may be just a bit dated or worn out from use. Being able to breathe new life into them with fresh graphics or selling the hardware as a whole can allow you to get a bit more of your money’s worth out of the display, while donating the hardware to another company is always a pleasant gesture. Recycling the pieces is another option that helps the environment. Utilizing nature-friendly materials within trade show displays’ construction and booth space is another way to ensure an environmental friendly exhibition while also serving to potentially add to your company or brand’s message and set of values.

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