Electric toothbrushes have become very popular over the years; with dentists highly recommending them over standard toothbrushes. They may be great for your teeth but not so friendly on the environment.
How to dispose of an old electric toothbrush
When looking to dispose of your old electric toothbrush, first consider its condition. If it's still in good usable condition; it's worth giving it a new home rather than disposing of it.
Things to do other than disposing:
- Offering it to friends and family members.
- Donate it to a charity shop. Make sure it is in good working condition and check if they will take it first. Some may not due to hygiene reasons.
- List it on an online selling platform such as Facebook or Gumtree. Either for a bit of money or for free.
- Donate to a shelter or a charity helping people in poverty in your local area.
If your toothbrush is no longer usable, this is then when you can think about disposal. This means doing so correctly via recycling. It is a requirement in most places that electrical products must be recycled. Your toothbrush will more than likely have the logo of a wheelie bin with a cross through it. This will indicate that it is unable to be put into your general rubbish bin. This is because the toothbrush will house a battery; which should never be put into landfill.
How to recycle electric toothbrush
Your electric toothbrush is classed as E-waste and therefore should be disposed of accordingly. In most places you are required to recycle all unwanted electrical items.
Places that will take your electric toothbrush for recycling:
Manufacturers - Some brands will take back your unwanted electric tooth brushes. Or they will offer you a location they are able to be dropped off at to be recycled.
Retailers - Lots of retailers offer schemes that allow you to hand in old electrical products. They may offer incentives like vouchers or money off a new model.
E-waste facilities - These are dedicated electronic waste companies, that will take your products and recycle them for you.
Local recycling centre - Check with you local facility first, if they are able to take electric toothbrushes.
These locations will take the main body reusable electric part of your toothbrush. They will not take the detachable brush heads.
Can I recycle electric toothbrush heads?
Yes it is possible to recycle electric toothbrush heads but only in certain places. You are not able to recycle them in your curb side collection or at your local recycling centre. They are small and made from a mixture of plastics which are not easily separated. They therefore need to be taken to special facilities that are equipped to deal with this.
A company called Terracycle are able to take many types of usually unrecyclable items. Many large brand names have partnered with Terracycle to collect these awkward materials that they produce. Phillips and Colgate have teamed up with Terracycle to offer free brush head recycling. But other brands brush heads are also able to be recycled through them at selected drop off sights.
It is worth checking with the manufacturer to see if they have a program in place to recycle your used brush heads.