Rope Recycling Program

Rope Recycling Program

At Sterling, we are as passionate about preserving our outdoor spaces as we are to making the highest quality, life-safety rope in the world. To ensure what we do does nothing to harm those spaces, we’ve made minimizing what ends up in landfills a Sterling priority since Day One.

How do I recycle my dynamic rope?

1. Coil your rope in a butterfly coil or something similar (bound with a strap is OK, too).

2. Bring your coiled rope to one of our participating drop off locations. Just look for the Sterling Rope Monster Box:

Canadian Locations

MEC Moutain Equiment Company Ltd. (Country-wide)

More participating partners coming soon!

Or, simply send your retired rope to the address below:

BIDDEFORD, ME 04005-4413


In Canada and want to participate in this program?
See special instructions here: Rope Recycling FAQ PDF document in English
Voir les instructions spéciales ici: FAQ sur le recyclage des cordes PDF en Française

Be a part of our Rope Recycling story.

Since our beginning, Sterling has recycled or repurposed most of our waste yarn, production and packaging materials. In 2008, Sterling initiated the first dynamic rope recycling program in the country, taking back dynamic ropes, whether ours or those made elsewhere.

Some ropes are upcycled into new products. Others, having outlived their useful lives, are sent to processors who either grind or melt the rope into nylon pellets that can then be used to make a variety of different products such as carpet fiber, fleece, telephones, skateboards and dog toys to name a few.

Why should I recycle my dynamic rope?

There are lots of reasons, but since you asked:

  • Nylon is plastic and doesn’t break down easily. Recycling keeps it out of a landfill
  • Use less petroleum-based products by reusing existing materials
  • This gives your old rope new life in non-life safety purposes like dog leashes, bag handles, straps, and more.

What ropes qualify?

At this time, we are only recycling dynamic climbing ropes. All dynamic climbing ropes used for rock, or ice climbing are made of Nylon 6 or Nylon 66.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept non-nylon ropes like polyester static ropes, polyester semi-static (low elongation) ropes, marine or hemp ropes or ropes made of mixed materials. We also cannot receive other PPE like harnesses, slings, anchors or hardware. Due to the current process, receiving mixed ropes or materials would ruin the entire recycling batch.

What’s the best/most economical way to ship ropes back?

If you have multiple ropes to recycle, we recommend taking these to your local UPS, Fedex or Post office. UPS can handle boxes that weigh a maximum of 50 lbs so they will all fit in one box, but we recommend following their shipping guidelines, or dropping them off at a participating Sterling drop off location.

Can I stop by the factory to drop off or purchase products?

Yes, you can stop by our headquarters in Maine and drop off your climbing rope to be recycled if it’s bound (coiled or strapped) and marked for recycling. Currently, we are not accepting purchases or orders directly from our manufacturing headquarters. We’d recommend visiting our dealer locator to find a local Sterling retailer.

How do I get a rope recycling box at my local climbing gym or store?

If your local gym or retailer carries Sterling ropes (on the shelves or on their gym walls), have them get in touch with us through (or through their local sales rep) to ask for a rope recycling box and we can send it out to them.

Can I purchase your recycled ropes?

At this time, we are partnering with Mafia Bags to purchase our recycled ropes. They accept ropes by the pallet. These ropes are dirty, different lengths, colors, diameters, and brands. If you can accept ropes in this form and would like to purchase our recycled ropes or learn more, please email us at

How does it get recycled?

When we receive the ropes back from direct shipments and from our participating partners, we collect them in a gaylord on a pallet in our warehouse. Once the gaylord is full, we ship them to our partner Mafia Bags who sorts, cleans and cuts the ropes based on each project or product they are making.

These ropes will live new lives as dog leashes, bag handles, straps for apparel or they will be sent to a processor to be pelletized to make a variety of different products like carpet fiber, fleece, telephones, skateboards, dog toys, and more.

Do I need to clean my rope first?

No need to clean your rope first, feel free to send as-is. It just needs to be coiled or bound in some way (not flaked and loose).

If I have more questions, how do I get in touch?

You can contact us for more information through our Contact Us page, or feel free to call us at 1-800-788-ROPE.

Please feel free to CONTACT US with any questions or comments you have.