Anna Pulley, @annapulley
RedEye's sex columnist
1:19 PM CDT, September 26, 2012
I'm wondering how to properly dispose of unwanted sex toys. Years and years ago when I started trying out different kinds of toys, I bought several items that I've since discovered don't do anything for me. I'd just chuck them in the trash but the vibrating ones come with electronic parts and from what I understand, it's horrible for the environment to just throw away electronics. On the other hand, I don't suppose the local recycled computer parts garage is going to want them either. Any advice? Is our sex-positive culture just doomed to hurt Mother Earth?
I checked one of my dildos (named Obama, because even though I haven’t had sex in a while, I still have the audacity to hope) for a number that might indicate its recyclability, but it turns out dildos aren’t like milk jugs. Who knew?
Nevertheless, there are definitely ways to recycle your sex toys. One is SexToyRecycling.com. While the site is a little too woo (to quote it: "Have you considered pleasuring yourself with an electric toothbrush? How about a cucumber?"), it gets the job done, and well, beggers and choosers and all that.
What you do is mail in your (washed) toys, which are then sterilized a second time, broken down into their material parts (plastics, electronics, silicone, gerbils, whatever) and sorted accordingly. Vibrators and other mechanical toys are salvaged and refurbished. If you lazily left the batteries in your toys, they’ll take care of those too. Silicone and rubber are ground up and reused (sometimes they become new sex toys, after they get a fresh coat of silicone, of course), and any other parts left over (metals, plastics) are used for new, non-sexy products. The website doesn’t list examples, but I like to envision that my double dongs are reborn as toasters or Jacuzzi parts.
To reward you for saving the planet, Sex Toy Recycling offers a $5 voucher toward any of its recycled sex toys, which can be purchased online or at local retailers. Another recycler, ScarletGirl, offers double that, though it claims to be behind on sending out vouchers due to summer being the slutty season and all.
If you love the Earth but hate America, you can ship your toys abroad to Love Honey, where its team will recycle your sex toys while speaking a delightful British accent. I do it so they’ll call me guv’ner.
If you’re really hard core about going green (or maybe you just go camping a lot), you might also consider buying a solar bullet vibrator, which derives power from the sun and seriously comes with its own little solar panel! And you thought you were so avant-garde with your hemp tote bag and big dreams.
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