Transparent conductive glasses such as thin film transistor (TFT) array and colour filter glasses were recovered from the TFT-liquid crystal display panel wastes by dismantling and sonic cleaning. Noble metals (i.e. platinum (Pt)) and indium tin oxide (ITO) are generally used in the cathode of a dye-sensitized solar cell (DSSC). To reduce the DSSC cost, Pt was replaced with nano nickel-encapsulated carbon-shell (Ni@C) nanoparticles, which were prepared by carbonization of Ni2+-β-cyclodextrin at 673 K for 2 h. The recovered conductive glasses were used in the DSSC electrodes in the substitution of relatively expensive ITO. Interestingly, the efficiency of the DSSC having the Ni@C-coated cathode is as high as 2.54%. Moreover, the cost of the DSSC using the recovered materials can be reduced by at least 24%.