Sex Toy Recycling? Why Not!

QUESTION:
Hi Leah,
I'm wondering what to do with a vibrator I no longer use. It was my first vibrator, and when I bought it I wasn't sure exactly what I was looking for. I've since discovered what kind of vibrator I like, leaving my starter one sitting unused in a drawer.
I don't want to throw it out, but I can't just donate it to Goodwill or sell it in a garage sale. Is there any way I can recycle old sex toys?
Jackie, Sudbury


ANSWER:
Hi Jackie!
Congrats for being so ecologically minded - vibrators are made up of a variety of materials, some recyclable (silicon, latex) where services are available and some not - but with electronics disposal is important, as they include hormone-disruptor-leaching vinyls or heavy metals like lead, chromium, cadmium or mercury. The catch is, even though used vibes are technically recyclable, in Canadian cities that have electronics recycling programs none do sex toys, be they vibes or dildos (at least not that I've been able to find). This means your options are limited.
You could bundle it up in a nice brown paper wrapper and send it overseas to LoveHoney's recycling program, which donates money to charity on your behalf, gives you 50% off a new one, and ensures the vibe is properly recycled. Alternatively, you could mail it to the States. Scarlet Girl allows you to send your unwanted toys, be they dildos or vibes for a $10 credit on your next online purchase. There is a a new company, Sextoyrecycling.com gearing up to offer similar services, so contact them if you'd like to try them out.
You're better off in the long run investing in a high quality, durable toy that will last a long, long time. Stainless steel or aluminum toys already have recycled content, and slicone is known for its durability. For battery-operated vibes, invest in rechargeable batteries, the nickel-metal hydride ones, which hold a charge longer. Find a drop-off location to recycle your batteries—they are very harmful if they end up in landfill—or mail them to Come As You Are, a cooperative sex store in Toronto that recycles them for you if you live in Canada.
For the truly hard-core, off-the-grid green types, consider the Earth Angel, made of 100% recyclable materials, which gets it's charge by your winding the handle.
Thanks again for being so green-conscious, and in return I wish you nothing but sweet buzz-love with your spanky new vibe for all of 2011—after all, this is gonna be the Chinese Year of the Rabbit, right?

Kisses,

Leah

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