Colgate Oral Care Recycling Programme

Recycle your oral care products

What do you do with your toothbrush or tube of toothpaste when it needs replacing?

I suspect you just throw it in the bin.

You are not alone, millions do, because there is little in the way of other options.

Your local council may offer kerbside recycling or have local recycling centres, but finding a way to get rid of these products is difficult, because the plastics and materials used in toothbrushes, tubes of toothpaste and other dental health products are hard to dispose of.

Even Recyclenow indirectly says, you are probably going to have to throw your toothpaste tube in the bin.

However, things are changing, thanks to Colgate.

They have teamed up with Terracycle, an innovative recycling company that has become a global leader in recycling typically hard-to-recycle waste.

Together they have launched a completely free recycling programme for oral care products and packaging.

You can now recycle your toothbrush.

You can now recycle toothpaste tubes.

You can now recycle electric toothbrush brush heads.

How it works

Rather than throwing away your toothbrush and empty tube of toothpaste, you can recycle it.

All you need do, is pop them into the appropriate bin at one of the many drop off locations around the country.

Once full, the bin is collected and sent into TerraCycle’s facilities for processing.

The recyclable products are then separated by material composition, shredded and melted into hard plastic pellets.

From there they can be remoulded to make new recycled products such as benches.

TerraCycle rewards shipments of over 200g, approximately 15 pieces of oral care, with points which can equal a donation to the school, charity or nonprofit of the sender’s choice.

A shipment over 1kg will be rewarded 100 points, the equivalent of £1.

Anyone can sign up to the programme as a private collector or a public location which will be visible on the TerraCycle map.

What is accepted

  • Any brand of toothbrushes
  • Any brand of toothpaste tubes and caps
  • Any brand of electric and battery toothbrush heads
  • Any brand of toothbrush outer packaging
  • Any brand of toothpaste cartons

In order to recycle this waste stream properly, please make sure all excess product has been removed (i.e. leftover product) and place all the accepted packaging in a box.

If you choose to rinse your product, please note that it must be completely dry prior to placing in a recycling bin.

What is not accepted

  • Dental Floss and Floss Containers
  • Interdental Brushes
  • Toothache Kits
  • Breath Sprays
  • Denture Adhesives Packaging
  • Denture Tablets Packaging
  • Denture Cream Tubes
  • Battery Toothbrushes
  • Mouthwash Plastic Bottles
  • Tubes that did not contain toothpaste
  • Outer packaging that did not contain toothbrushes
  • Cartons that did not contain toothpaste

Where can I drop them off?

Click here to be taken through to a map, where you can find the nearest location to yourself to recycle your oral care products.

Noteworthy facts

  • An estimated 850 million – 1 billion toothbrushes are put into landfill each year in the USA alone.
  • 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed of within Australia each year.

The following video promotes a more sustainable toothbrush, but it tells the story of the impact our oral care products are having on the world today.

Sources

Jon Love

About Jon Love

Jon is a leading voice on electric toothbrushes and has been quoted by mainstream media publications for his opinions and expertise.

Having handled & tested hundreds of products there really is very little he does not know about them.

Passionate about business and helping others, Jon has been involved in various online enterprises since the early 2000s.

After spending 12 years in consumer technology, it was in 2014 that he focused his attention on dental health, having experienced first-hand the challenge of choosing a new toothbrush.

Read More

Leave a comment or question

20 thoughts on “Colgate Oral Care Recycling Programme”

  1. Great up-to-date information. Glad I found this to read. Wanting to recycle our oral care as I feel so bad just throwing them in the bin.

    I believe my nearest place is Nationwide?! Can this be confirmed? I am in the NN15 postcode.

    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Lydia.

      I have just checked myself and yes, Nationwide, 42-44 High Street, NN16 8SW appears to be your closest drop-off location.

      Reply
  2. Hello, on your post it appears electric toothbrush heads are accepted by colgate recycle program. However when I access TerraCycle’s website it says electric toothbrush and their parts are not accepted? Thanks for clarifying!

    Reply
    • Hi Laraine.

      The brush heads from an electric toothbrush is accepted.

      What I believe the Terracycle website means is that if your electric toothbrush stopped working, you could not recycle the handle that includes the battery and electronics.

      This poster shows what is and is not accepted. It states ‘any brand of electric and battery toothbrush heads’.

      Reply
  3. I can see from the map my closest.drop off is Hook Hampshire however it looks to be a private residence. How do I contact the person to arrange drop off?

    Reply
    • Hi Paula,

      In these instances, if there are no contact details provided (which there appears not to be), there is usually a clearly labelled bin/place to deposit the items outside the property.

      The one near you appears to have 24 hour access so I would expect this to be the case.

      Reply
  4. Is there any way to send it directly to Terracycle? I don’t drive and both of those drop off points will take me ages to get to by bus. So if walking to the post office is an option, I’d rather take that.

    Reply
    • Not as far as I am aware.

      The only way it can go direct to Terracycle is if you personally buy one of Terracycles own recycling boxes (available here), which is an expensive option, for dental products alone.

      Reply
  5. Hi, it’s lovely to see a programme like this running, but the map is so crowded it’s imposible to use. Is there no way of entering a postcode which then leads to your local site. I was looking for my mother who is 86 she doesn’t drive far so somewhere local to CM83 would be great

    Reply
    • Hi Amanda.

      You should be able to zoom in to see those most local to you.

      I believe you are referring to the area around ‘Whitam’ with the CM8 postcode.

      If so, the closest drop off point is:

      Dental WizardsDental Practice
      Lockram Lane
      Witham
      Essex
      CM8 2BJ

      Reply
  6. Hi there, I also cannot access the map to find where I can drop off tooth stuff to recycle. Is it because there isn’t one around here?

    Reply
  7. I can’t seem to get the list of drop off points loaded
    Is there another way I can access them please?

    Reply
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