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Thread: razor disposal questions

  1. #1
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    Default razor disposal questions

    I would like to dispose of my razors in the most environmentally friendly way possible while being safe.

    Here are my questions:
    (1) Many razor brands include a plastic container for safe disposal (such as feather or derby extra) but I don't like the fact that they are plastic since they can't decompose.
    Does anyone know if you can recycle those plastic containers? (what type of plastic they are etc, and if that plastic is accepted by recycling stations).

    (2) If I opt to not use those plastic containers - do you think it is safer to put the razors in a metal jar and throw it in the recycling bin or would it be safer to wrap the razors in paper and throw them out in regular trash?

    Thanks for your tips.

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    There is a thread going right now about this:
    http://badgerandblade.com/vb/showthr...96#post1208796
    I guess I just like guitars more than razors...

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    Thanks for the link.
    Unfortunately it doesn't have anything about the main question I am after, which is if I can recycle the plastic cases many blades come in.
    I think I have decided i'm just going to try some other brands that just come in cardboard boxes instead though.
    Hoping maybe the Israeli Personna brand might be good enough for me since they seem to be well respected and use cardboard packaging.

    It's a bummer though that feather and derby blades come in those plastic packages though.

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    Hello barberofdeville,
    I understand the safety issue just trying to find the best mix of both safety and environmentalism.

    I was under the impression that hospitals don't recycle the plastic biohazard materials from another post qouted here:
    "ps, i dont think they recycle the blades or anyting at the hospital, because for needles which is the majority of what theyre used for in the hospital system, the amount of steel vs plastic and processing dont add up, i think they just seal them off and throw them in the landfill"

    Do you know if I buy one of those biohazard cases and bring them to the hospital, do they in general recycle the plastic and blades?

    If they typically do recycle then that is what I will do without a question.
    But if not then i'm not sure.
    Maybe for example it would be best to put the blades in the cardboard boxes, and then throw those boxes into a metal container to throw them away.
    That way it can still degrade but will take forever to do so. (and hopefully be well buried before anyone would be put at risk by the degrading process.

    Anyways i'm not sure and welcome your feedback.
    Thanks,
    DK

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    The red packs are awesome blades, try them, and I love the cardboard box. Get a can of broth, cut a slot in it, drain it and you have a blade bank. Decorate it any way you want. There is thread showing you how to do this step by step. In many years when it is full toss it into the recycle, you can even seal the slot.
    ~Anthony~

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    Thanks for the advice Leche :)
    I'm looking into your suggestion.

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    Some time ago someone posted a link and one would get a free bio hazards container (similar to the ones you see in doctor offices) for free from a pharmaceutical company - cannot recall the name. So I e-mailed them and got one a couple days later in the mail, it is kinda big, but I am also diabetic and have to get rid of the used testing lancets and strips daily, so I like this container. Now all my used blades go in there.
    Rudy, Central New Jersey
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    I'm in the UK, and this is the position here - it may be different in the States.

    Plastic blade dispenser boxes can go in your household plastic recycling - but only if they are empty (i.e. with no blades in them).

    Razor blades and disposable razors cannot go in your household recycling - they go in your non-recyclable trash, and are landfilled.

    A plastic sharps box could be used, but you would have to buy one, unless you have a medical need for one, e.g. diabetic or I.V. drug user. Disposal is then a problem as you cannot throw it in your trash, or recycle bin - it's classed as medical waste, and therefore incinerated.

    So basically the plastic or card blade boxes can be recycled, blades cannot.

    I did have one thought though. If you use a metal blade bank, when it is nearly full, add a load of salt to it and fill with water. Leave it for a couple of weeks before you toss it. By the time it hits the landfill, the blades inside will
    be rusting nicely, thus speeding the bio-degrading process.
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    Quote Originally Posted by raven1 View Post
    (2) If I opt to not use those plastic containers - do you think it is safer to put the razors in a metal jar and throw it in the recycling bin or would it be safer to wrap the razors in paper and throw them out in regular trash?

    .
    Whatever you do don't wrap razors in paper and put in the regular trash. Please.


    I put my used blades into a mini Altoids tin. When it is full, I plan on taping it completely shut so it can't accidentlally open, and then put it in the regular trash. Gives me an excuse to go get another can of mini Altoids, too.
    Randall. BOTOC, Excalibur, Hot Sauce Pepper Heads Club

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisher View Post
    Whatever you do don't wrap razors in paper and put in the regular trash.

    That's exactly what we are asked to do over here!
    [B][/B]Who are the Brain Police?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisher View Post
    Whatever you do don't wrap razors in paper and put in the regular trash. Please.
    Quote Originally Posted by beaker View Post
    That's exactly what we are asked to do over here!
    And there's nothing wrong with putting them in the regular trash (accept for the recycle angle). Razor blades are not the only sharp household items that wind up in the trash, there's also cans, broken glass, tacks, etc. The people who handle the trash expect that sort of stuff and are prepared for it.

    If you really want to use some sort of container, there is this one that I saw in a hardware store, which is not a biohazard container.



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    Quote Originally Posted by beaker View Post
    Disposal is then a problem as you cannot throw it in your trash, or recycle bin - it's classed as medical waste, and therefore incinerated.
    Even down here in little old Tasmania, the Aids council has a disposal chute where you put your used sharps boxes and they supply you with a new one.

    No I don't have Aids, but have a diabetic dog and a blood condition that sometimes requires sub cut injections, so we always have a sharps box around the house.

    I'd be very suprised if other cities/state/countries don't have similar facilities......

    You could also suss out diabetes organisations around the place if you're a bit embarrassed about the first one
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    Quote Originally Posted by raven1 View Post
    I was under the impression that hospitals don't recycle the plastic biohazard materials from another post qouted here:
    "ps, i dont think they recycle the blades or anyting at the hospital, because for needles which is the majority of what theyre used for in the hospital system, the amount of steel vs plastic and processing dont add up, i think they just seal them off and throw them in the landfill"

    Do you know if I buy one of those biohazard cases and bring them to the hospital, do they in general recycle the plastic and blades?
    Referring back to this, you are correct, the contents of plastic sharps boxes, or the boxes themselves are not recycled, but they are not landfilled either,they are incinerated. So this would mean you buying a sharps box (a new plastic product), filling it with blades, taking it to a collection point (possibly by car?) just to have it destroyed in a fuel guzzling incinerator. Ecologically this seems like the worst possible option, and is the "Problem with disposal" that I was talking about in my last post.

    Razor blades are very thin, and will rust very quickly - even stainless ones. It wont take them very long to return to the earth, so disposing of them in your regular trash in an old can or Altoids box (well sealed) is probably the best option, even if it does not seem at first to be very environmentally friendly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fidjit View Post
    Even down here in little old Tasmania, the Aids council has a disposal chute where you put your used sharps boxes and they supply you with a new one.

    No I don't have Aids, but have a diabetic dog and a blood condition that sometimes requires sub cut injections, so we always have a sharps box around the house.

    I'd be very suprised if other cities/state/countries don't have similar facilities......

    You could also suss out diabetes organisations around the place if you're a bit embarrassed about the first one
    I actually inquired at my local council and was told to pick up a free sharps container and was also given instructions as to how to dispose of the full container. So you may want to check locally as to the preferred way to deal with used blades
    Cheers,

    D

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen D View Post
    I actually inquired at my local council and was told to pick up a free sharps container and was also given instructions as to how to dispose of the full container. So you may want to check locally as to the preferred way to deal with used blades
    Good to know, I will have to look into that when my tin is full!
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  16. #16
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    I don't why you couldn't recycle blades, they're just small pieces of metal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by beaker View Post
    I'm in the UK, and this is the position here - it may be different in the States.

    Plastic blade dispenser boxes can go in your household plastic recycling - but only if they are empty (i.e. with no blades in them).

    Razor blades and disposable razors cannot go in your household recycling - they go in your non-recyclable trash, and are landfilled.
    Different again here and I'm in the UK too (for now) - they will happily take the plastic boxes (empty), the paper wrappers (clean) and SE/DE blades if they're made safe (after all they're just steel - so mine will go in a tin can when there's enough) - what they won't take are composites like cartridge blades.

    Oh and a razor blade rusting isn't biodegrading - its corrosion - rust occurs naturally even in sterile environments if there's humidity and oxygen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by barberofdeville View Post
    Just because sharp objects end up there doesnt mean its right. Drug dealers sell drugs to children doesnt mean that its ok for me to do it. IMO That train of thought is why medical waste is and has been a problem in the USA

    As far as the biodgradeable box(the explanation was well thought out and i stand corrected. Didnt think about it being put in the metal recycling box. Good point)
    I agree with you. I think as razor blade users we should be responsible with their disposal.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaker View Post
    I'm in the UK, and this is the position here - it may be different in the States.

    I did have one thought though. If you use a metal blade bank, when it is nearly full, add a load of salt to it and fill with water. Leave it for a couple of weeks before you toss it. By the time it hits the landfill, the blades inside will
    be rusting nicely, thus speeding the bio-degrading process.
    I just joined this forum in order to thank you all for sharing what you know about this tricky question, and to see if you can keep me from having to research something I probably learned (and forgot immediately) in high school.

    I'm already saving up razor blades and any other sharps in a glass jar. I came here looking for a safe moral way to get them out of my house, and found -- rust!

    If I can just put salt and water in that glass jar and wait, the blades will no longer be capable of doing any damage, and then I can toss them. Wonderful!

    Now, here's my question: if I want to throw out some wet, salty RUST, that is, completely rusted blades, how long might I have to keep that jar?

    Again, thank you all for your info and ideas.

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    That's a great idea about the salt and water in the blade bank! I was about to toss the bank into the metal recycling, but I'll do that instead.

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