Recycled Sex Toys: Green News from the Red-Light District
While recycling markets are drying up, a Florida company is opening up a new recycling stream for some items you won't find in curbside collection bins.
Sex toy seller Dreamscapes launched a recycling program two months ago for used or broken sex toys of all types. Anyone can mail in cleaned items, and the company cleans and disassembles them. Then all the materials -- including rubber, silicone, plastic, small motors and batteries -- get shipped off to companies that recycle or reuse them.
David Kowalsky, Dreamscapes' president and CEO, said his company was careful to vet who it ships the materials to. He wanted to ensure that as much as possible gets reused and turned into new products, like park benches.
Bed - CC license by Flickr user SuicideGirlsThe company started investigating recyclers about two years ago since it handles a lot of rubber, silicone and other things you can't dump at the local recycling center. Although the company is paid for each pound of material it ships off, it's not a profit-generating effort.
"This was not geared to be a money-maker for us," Kowalsky said. "There are costs associated with disassembling and stripping down the items." Any money it does bring in goes towards environmental causes, he said. Dreamscapes will even reciprocate each package sent in with a $10 gift card to one of its retail sites.
Dreamscapes, which also has made a company-wide "Commitment to Green," is showing that recycling can extend to more than just office paper and pop bottles. If we want to be serious about keeping waste out of landfills and reusing things, we have to include everything, no matter where it's been.
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