Unfortunately, it happens to every sex toy. Batteries die, water damage happens, or maybe you’re ready to upgrade.
Regardless, there will come a day where you must dispose of your sex toy. But with so many regulations, it can be confusing to understand how to best get rid of sex toys.
The best options are to take them to a recycling center, whether it’s specifically for sex toys or just a public electrical recycling center.
Some toys can be safely thrown in the trash, and some may even be sold second-hand.
Keep reading to learn how to properly dispose of your sex toys to meet environmental regulations.
More often than not, your sex toy is pattered by batteries and electronics. Like any other type of electronic, simply tossing them in the trash wreaks environmental havoc.
This is because batteries contain volatile chemicals like lithium, lead, sulfuric acid, and cadmium. Once your batteries land in a landfill, these chemicals eventually seep out of your batteries.
They either are reabsorbed into the soil or run into rivers or streams from rain.
Either way, the chemicals going back into the Earth are terrible for the environment as it damages ecosystems, drinking water, plant life, and animal life.
That’s not counting the possibility that high temperatures can cause the batteries to combust into an uncontrolled fire.
That being said, it’s vital to properly dispose of your sex toys to prevent batteries or another electrical charge from falling into the landfill.
In order to be green, it’s vital that you recycle your sex toy to the best of your ability.
Perhaps the best way, though, is to purchase quality-long lasting sex toys so that you don’t burn through them so quickly. That may be the greenest solution of them all.
Public Electrical Recycling Centers
You may have seen electrical recycling centers.
These are centers where you can bring electrical items such as batteries, cords, and other hazardous items for professionals to sort, process, and properly recycle.
Of course, the glaring problem with these centers is that some find it a bit embarrassing to drop off a bag of used sex toys at a public recycling center.
While many recycling centers are unmanned (meaning you can drop your used toys in a bin without people knowing), sometimes some workers help you sift through everything and find the right box.
Additionally, depending on your location it may be hard to find a recycling center near you. That plus transportation makes this option a little less than ideal.
Either way, if you choose to go this route, make sure to clean your toy thoroughly before dropping it off.
You never know how that material will be reused, and you don’t want to inadvertently spread unwanted bacteria, germs, or disease by doing your good deed.
Make sure to clean your sex toy with either antibacterial soap or you can purchase specialized sex toy cleaning products.
Of course, if your sex toy is not battery operated (such as a dildo or a fleshlight), then you might figure that you can toss the toy in your trash or even a recycling bin.
However, that might not be the case.
It is hotly debated whether you can recycle rubber. As a last resort, you can throw rubber in the trash. They won’t cause any severe problems like suddenly combusting or leaking harmful contaminants into the Earth, but having rubber in a landfill isn’t great, either.
That’s because some rubbers don’t break down easily. Most sex toys are crafted from silicone, and because silicone is so durable, it won’t break down.
Some people say that this is better for the environment because that means silicone doesn’t break down into microplastics.
Still, the idea of your silicone sex toy sitting in a landfill for all eternity isn’t the best image either.
The truth is, rubbers and silicons can be recycled or thrown away but more so as a last resort.
Technically, there is no issue with tossing your used toys in your recycling or trash bin outside your house or apartment.
But, you might want to look into other alternatives, first, mainly the use of sending your used sex toy to individual companies.
As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, more and more companies are solving this problem.
Some companies pay you to ship your used sex toys to them, which is a great way to fix the issue since you can properly recycle your sex toys without going through the potential embarrassment of recycling them in public.
This also prevents you from tossing your sex toys in a bin in front of those nosy neighbors.
You can check with the company or manufacturer of the toy to see if they accept their toys back. If not, a growing number of companies accept sex toys even if they originally did not make them.
While you do need to pre-clean all of your toys before sending them back in, these companies will clean your toys professionally.
Then they will either be professionally restored or ground up to make new toys.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many companies that do this in the United States.
However, if you’re in the UK (or don’t mind sending your used sex toy across seas), there are many companies to choose from.
Regardless, here are two US companies that gladly accept your used sex toys.
Located in Portland, Oregon, Scarlet Girl is a verified sex toy recycling center that welcomes sex toys from around the country. Just make sure that you follow their instructions carefully before sending them your toys.
To start, you must clean your sex toy thoroughly (if your sex toy is dirty, wet, or basically too gross to touch, they’ll send it back to you).
While technically you can disinfect your sex toys with soap, Scarlet Girl requires senders to disinfect by soaking them in a 10% bleach solution for 10 minutes and then letting them dry for an additional thirty minutes.
After you have thoroughly cleaned your sex toy, you can fill out and print their “Recycle Your Sex Toys” form.
Once you complete the form, place it inside the box alongside your used sex toys.
Make sure to remove all batteries before shipping since batteries are so hazardous to ship due to potential spontaneous combustion and fire hazards.
The best part of the recycling process is that Scarlet Girl actually pays you to send your used sex toy. Once you send in your sex toy, you receive a $10 credit on your next online purchase from Scarlet Girl.
For more detailed instructions, head on over to the website.
This Atlanta-based sex shop is now accepting your used sex toys.
In a mission to help reduce waste in landfills, Eden Fantasies recently launched their sex toy recycling program called Project Re-Vibe.
For a small fee of five dollars, users receive a voucher that contains instructions.
From there, you know that every part of your sex toy is taken apart and reused according to the highest eco-standards.
Eden Fantasies also gives customers a 15% discount on new purchases, so not only do you feel good about your recycling, but you also get something out of it.
They have pretty easy instructions, too.
- Empty all battery compartments.
- Wash all toys that you are sending.
- Do not send in detachable cords, chargers, holders, or packaging.
You also cannot send the following items
- DVDs and CDs
- Toy covers (like condoms)
- Any non-toy items, including domestic electronics, household items, etc
Before you get creeped out, more and more people are accepting second-hand used sex toys. There’s a way to do this so that no icky germs get passed over to the new owner.
Once you sanitize your sex toy, it is as good as new.
You can re-home your sex toy if you have a toy that is made of a non-porous material (think 100% silicone).
Because silicone doesn’t absorb anything from the body, you can rehome them without breaking the material down first.
To sterilize, you can use the bleach method like Scarlet Girl recommends. Or you can boil your sex toy for ten minutes. However, be careful to remove any batteries or motor first.
Because of this, the boiling method may only work for non-motorized toys (like a dildo).
You can indeed clean your sex toy with specialized sex toy cleaners, but that’s only to be used to clean between personal use instead of cleaning it in preparation to give to another user.
If you plan to re-home your sex toy, best not to mess around and either go for straight bleach or boiling water.
If you know of a close friend who may be interested in taking in your re-homed sex toy, make sure to follow all of these steps so you do this the safest way possible.
It’s a sad day when our sex toys no longer work. However, nothing lasts forever, including sex toys.
Fortunately, there are ways to properly dispose of our used toys.
While the most discreet is certainly to send it to a sex toy recycling center, you can also take your sex toys to a public recycling center.
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