Ice Packs Alternative ways to recycle Put in Garbage Hard Ice Packs Go in the Garbage If your ice pack has a thick plastic shell, toss it in the trash. Empty Flexible Ice Packs If your ice pack has a flexible plastic shell, thaw the ice pack and then cut it open and squeeze the gel into the garbage. Afterward, rinse out the plastic film, dry it and recycle it with plastic bags. Do Not Pour Down Drains Do not pour ice pack contents down the drain. If you accidentally puncture an ice pack, or cut it open to empty it, dispose of the mixture in the trash. It can clog sinks and toilets. Alternative Ways to Recycle Give Them Away If your cooler packs are still in usable condition, save them from the landfill by giving them away. You can list them on sites and apps such as Craigslist, Freecycle, OfferUp, Letgo and Nextdoor. Ways to Reuse Keep for Future Use Ice packs come in handy to pack coolers for sports games and camping trips. They can also be used as a cold compress for injuries and sore muscles.