What Is the Correct Way to Dispose of Unwanted Sex Toys?
Hint - It's not the landfill
Sooner or later, even the best adult toys start showing their age. At first, it’s only in minor ways. Maybe your favorite dildo isn’t as brightly colored as it used to be anymore, or perhaps the motor on your go-to vibrator doesn’t quite have the same oomph it used to. Eventually though, you’re left facing the sad truth that it’s time to toss your favorite toy and replace it with something new.
But what do people do with their old, broken, or otherwise unwanted toys, anyway? Do they toss them in the garbage bin? Can old sex toys be sold, recycled, or donated? Are there right and wrong ways to dispose of an old toy, and how much does it really matter? Here’s a closer look at everything you ever wanted to know about tossing or replacing sex toys but were too bashful to ask.
How Bad Are Toys for Landfills?
Many modern toys, especially vibrators and other electronic options, have more in common with an old cell phone, tablet, or computer than they do with anything else you might be looking to replace. The process of taking care of them and making sure they last as long as possible is similar, and your approach to getting rid of them when they’re no longer wanted should be, too.
If you simply toss your vibrator or another motorized toy in the trash, it eventually makes its way to a landfill, and that’s not so hot for the environment. Batteries, coils, remote controls, and advanced motors eventually corrode, leaching toxins into the earth and the groundwater beneath. And many popular materials like silicone and ABS plastic don’t break down over time, so chucking even non-motorized toys in the wastebasket is something a toy lover should think twice about.
Generally speaking, if you wouldn’t toss an old cell phone or another electronic device in the garbage bin, you really want to avoid doing it with your old sex toys for similar reasons.
Can Old Sex Toys Be Recycled?
When it comes to items and materials that shouldn’t go into the garbage bin, recycling is usually the option that makes the most sense. But can you recycle sex toys, and if you can, what’s that process look like? It usually doesn’t look like simply adding it to your city recycle bin along with your empty soda cans and empty cardboard boxes.
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The process involved in breaking down most sex toys and recycling them to create new products is often too involved for most local processing plants. Plus, sex toys can create biohazard concerns, meaning many ordinary facilities won’t accept them. You can always inquire to make sure.
Contact an e-waste center.
Old computers, phones, and other electronics usually end their existence at a facility specializing in electronic waste. Such facilities have the means and ability to dispose of any components that could cause issues safely. However, the biohazard issue may still be a concern depending on the facility, meaning sex toys may not be among the items they accept.
In that case, the best thing to do is speak to a representative and ask. If you’re bashful about making a phone call or showing up in person holding a box of old vibrators, email the center and ask for advice. Keep in mind that e-waste center workers have more or less seen it all, so this won’t be the first time someone’s asked what to do with their broken rabbit vibe or defunct butt plug.
Recycle your toy through a collection program.
Many modern sex toy retailers understand the problem caused by the improper disposal of old sex toys. More people than ever are using toys or building extensive collections that include many different options. That means climbing numbers of aging vibrators, dildos, anal plugs, and more that need a solution.
It’s reasonably easy to find offline and online toy stores with collection programs for that reason. Every establishment will have its own protocol, but the process usually involves removing the batteries, cleaning your toy thoroughly, filling out a form, and then mailing your toy to the address specified. That’s it! Many toy retailers will even offer customers coupons or other benefits for taking the time to recycle correctly.
As with other electronic products, it’s also wise to upgrade your choices as far as which toys you add to your collection in the first place. Go for high-quality options that are built to stand the test of time. Not only will you enjoy a better user experience, but your toys won’t need to be replaced as often. Make sure you’re engaging in thorough, proper care and cleaning when it comes to your toys, as well.