One of the primary issues facing our world today is how to consistently make choices to live as green as possible, making every effort to protect our environment from the endless amount of waste and litter we produce as a society.
Although we’re all familiar with the simpler recyclables such as our used Amazon delivery boxes, aluminum cans, and plastic milk jugs, the more complex items such as disposable razors and even used razor blades seem like they should be recycled as well but aren’t always accepted with the curbside regulars.
But can you actually recycle them anyway?
The answer is a resounding “yes”. There are many ways to recycle used disposable razors and razor blades including using TerraCycle, collection bins, razor blade banks, pharmacies ad so on. If you are a regular shaver, the best option is to use TerraCycle.
Read on to find out how to recycle and use disposable razors and razor blades.
Why You Need To Recycle Your Used Disposable Razors and Razor Blades
As of 1990, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated that nearly two billion disposable razors and razor blades were thrown away in the trash instead of properly recycled.
If that were the case decades ago, the amount of shaving-related waste that must be accumulating in the present is likely even more significant.
In general, disposable razors and razor blades are not items commonly accepted in community recycling bins due to safety concerns as well as economic issues, such as the cost of processing the materials for breakdown and repurposing compared to other more common recyclables.
The fact is, disposing of razors and razor blades in regular trash is dangerous. For one, the blades are sharp and can easily slice through flesh.
Additionally, the plastics, metals or other materials used to make razors are often non-biodegradable.
How To Recycle Your Used Disposable Razors and Razor Blades
Today, multiple companies are coming together to help reduce landfill waste and the hazards of merely tossing razors into the trash.
1. Use Razor Collection Bins
Both TerraCycle and Gillette are now offering the option of providing collection bins for public use, where they can be placed in publicly accessed areas (such as gyms or certain businesses).
They are used for individuals to dispose of their shaving waste until the bins are full enough to be economically shipped back to TerraCycle for final processing.
2. Ship The Razors To TerraCycle
TerraCycle is a company that will recycle your used disposable razors for you. You can collect your used shaving items to ship to the company.
Once they’ve reached a designated amount of materials amassed, they specialize in separating the components into both the plastic parts and the metal segments for the two to be processed and recycled accordingly.
3. Recycle Your Used Disposable Razors and Razor Blades With TerraCycle
Recycle from home by joining the program, downloading a tracking code, and shipping your collections using your preferred courier or delivery service, or search the map below for a local recycling solution.
Gillette is fully on board with encouraging the recycling of their disposable blades. Through their website, you can register to request a collection bin for storing your used razors.
Once you’ve accrued enough for the mailing of your package to be practical, you can purchase a shipping label from their website to ship your collection box off to be processed – the exact same system as doing so directly through TerraCycle.
For this, Gillette has intentionally partnered with TerraCycle as they are the primary company so far that has been able to heavily focus on reducing shaving-related waste and specializing in breaking down the two key components of the disposable razors in an economical manner.
Gillette, known for its recognizable status in the shaving world, also doesn’t discriminate when it comes to the razors they’re willing to have sent onward to TerraCycle: you can send any disposable razor from any brand, even aside from Gillette, and those will be received and recycled all the same.
What Does TerraCycle Do With Recycled Razors and Razor Blades?
Instead of contributing to the ever-growing overflow of waste, the plastic and metal from these recycled items become repurposed and reused.
According to TerraCycle’s website, some of the everyday items produced from recycled razors can be anything from park benches to playgrounds, among various other options.
Many municipal recycling programs are unable to handle the costs and processes required to properly handle anything besides the basic recyclables, such as cardboard, paper, and other types of plastics (e.g., those used in the production of milk jugs or assorted packaging).
TerraCycle isn’t limited by these constraints and has both the means and the knowledge to efficiently and effectively recycle nearly any product one might be able to send their way. Their company is even capable of processing and recycling electronics, cigarette butts, and latex paints.
What Do I Gain By Recycling Razors and Razor Blades?
In addition to supporting the environment and practicing valuable recycling habits, TerraCycle also offers a way to give back to the community through their rewards program.
Every shipment they receive is eligible for earning points in their rewards program, and those points can be used to contribute donations to a variety of non-profit organizations.
Even aside from their disposable razor campaign with Gillette, participation in their other recycling programs additionally builds reward points that can be used to provide financial support for other non-profit groups.
Razor Blade Banks: For those who may be interested in other options, you can also purchase a razor blade “bank” or build your own to use for safely storing your used razor blades.
These are available online or can even be made from something as simple as a metal can or a breath mint tin.
Local Pharmacies: Another viable option is to check with local pharmacies or other health-based businesses that may be able to provide you with a “sharps” container like those you often see when going to a doctor’s office.
Any of these options should be sufficient in helping you to safely store your razorblades as you collect them for recycling if you were not particularly interested in reaching out to one of the aforementioned companies to receive their specific collection bins.
Other Options: Aside from making or otherwise acquiring your own razor blade storage unit, you also have some other options for where to take your hard-to-recycle materials.
Although TerraCycle is now rising in the ranks and is the prime option for recycling these difficult items, you may also be able to drop off your collections at certain pharmacies, hospitals, fire stations, or police stations.
Who Can Recycle Using TerraCycle?
TerraCycle encourages all groups, from schools to businesses to community organizations, to join in on using their collection bins to set up recycling stations throughout numerous communities.
The more individuals can contribute to recycling and reducing landfill waste, the cleaner we can make our planet. Along with the disposable razors themselves, TerraCycle also accepts the packaging and replaceable blade cartridges as a part of their program.
Check Your Community Safety Regulations before Recycling Razors and Razor Blades
Be sure to check with your local health and safety organizations to see if they accept these types of recycling donations first.
If one of these community services is personally unable to help you with accepting the used blades, they may be able to at least help with pointing you in the right direction of other potential groups or drop-off stations that do receive these materials, and you can still get them safely and appropriately recycled.
Some common questions that people ask are answered below;
Can You Recycle Disposable Razor Blades?
Disposable razors are made of metal and plastic and so, can be recycled. However, it seems this is generally unknown as, according to the EPA, two billion disposable razors are trashed annually in the United States.
How Do You Dispose Of Disposable Razors?
Terracycle has created a recycling program in partnership with Gillette specifically for disposable razor heads. Once registered with the program, Terracycle provides a mailer for collecting and conveying used disposable razors and blades to the company. The best part is, the program is absolutely free.
What Can You Do With Old Disposable Razors?
Disposable razors are considered difficult to recycle because they’re composed of different materials. Thankfully, a company called Terracycle provides recycling services specifically for items like this. All you need to do is sign up for their program and follow the instructions on packing and mailing razors to their recycling facilities where these items can be processed and remade into brand new, useful products.
There are a few ways to recycle old used razors and razor blades safely. The most popular and best option right now is to use TerraCycle. To sign up for more information or start recycling your disposable razors and razor blades now, check out the TerraCycle and Gillette web pages.