How To Recycle Old Toothbrushes?

By Rebekah Pierce

Do you have a stockpile of old toothbrushes that you don’t know what to do with? Well, here are some creative ways to recycle them! You can use them for cleaning projects, arts and crafts, or even gardening. Keep reading for more ideas on how to put those old brushes to good use.

Can You Put Toothbrushes in the Recycle Bin?

You might be surprised to learn that toothbrushes can be recycled. In fact, most recycling centers will accept them as long as they are clean and dry. 

However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you put your toothbrush in the recycle bin. 

First, check to see if your local recycling center has a specific process for recycling toothbrushes. Some centers may require that they be placed in a separate bin or bag. 

Second, make sure to remove any toothpaste residue from the toothbrush before recycling it. Otherwise, the toothpaste could contaminate other materials in the recycle bin. 

Finally, consider donating your old toothbrush, if it’s never been used, to a local dental office or charity. Dental offices often give new patients a free toothbrush, and charities can distribute them to people in need. So, before you throw away your old toothbrush, think about recycling it instead.

Why You Should Recycle Your Toothbrush?

You probably don’t give much thought to your toothbrush. It’s just something you use every day to keep your teeth clean. 

But did you know that your toothbrush can have a big impact on the environment? 

Every year, billions of plastic toothbrushes end up in landfills, where they can take hundreds of years to break down. And even when they do eventually decompose, they release harmful toxins into the soil and water. 

The takeaway? Always recycle that toothbrush! We will give you some ideas on how you can do just that below. 

How To Recycle Your Toothbrush?

Do you have a few old toothbrushes lying around your house? Instead of just throwing them in the trash, why not recycle them? Read on to learn how to recycle old toothbrushes into new, useful items.

Colgate Local Recycle Solutions

One option is to contact Colgate, who has a local recycle solution in many communities across the country. Colgate will recycle your used toothbrush (and sometimes even donate it to a local school or nonprofit organization). 

Contact Local Recycling Center

Check with your local recycling center to see if they accept toothbrushes. If they do, simply drop off your used toothbrush (or multiple toothbrushes if you’re recycling for a family). If your local recycling center doesn’t accept toothbrushes, don’t worry – there are still plenty of options for recycling your brush.

Local Grocery Stores

One option is to take it to your local grocery store. Many stores now have recycling programs for toothbrushes and other personal care items. Just look for the recycling bin next time you’re doing your shopping.

Repurpose The Toothbrush For Chores 

If you don’t have a local recycling program, or if you simply want to keep your old toothbrush out of the landfill, you can repurpose it for chores around the house. An old toothbrush is great for cleaning grout in the bathroom, getting into tight corners when dusting, and even scrubbing dirt off of shoes. 

So before you toss that toothbrush in the trash, think about how it might be able to help you with some of your chores.

Here’s a video with some ideas of how you can use your toothbrush to get some serious housework done:

Oral-B Recycle On Us (Oral Care Recycling Program)

There are now several programs that will take your used toothbrush and recycle it into new products.

One such program is Oral-B’s Recycle on Us initiative. Through this program, you can send your used Oral-B toothbrush to the company, and they will recycle it into new plastic products. 


Another option is TerraCycle, a company that specializes in recycling hard-to-recycle items. You can sign up for their dental care recycling program and send them your used toothbrush (and other dental care products) for recycling. 

Tom’s Of Maine Natural Care Recycling Program

Finally, Tom’s of Maine has a Natural Care Recycling Program that allows you to recycle your used toothbrush (and other personal care products) through their partnership with TerraCycle.

Recycling An Electric Toothbrush

Recycling an electric toothbrush is a great way to reduce waste and help the environment. Electric toothbrushes are made of plastic and metal, which can be recycled and turned into new products. 

Most toothbrushes have a recycling symbol on the bottom, indicating that they can be recycled. To recycle your toothbrush, first remove the head from the handle. The head can usually be recycled with other plastic products, while the handle can usually be recycled with other metal products. 

You can then take your toothbrush to a local recycling center or contact your municipality to find out where to recycle it. By recycling your electric toothbrush, you can help to reduce waste and conserve resources.

Recycling Toothpaste Tubes

It’s estimated that over a billion toothpaste tubes are thrown away each year in the United States alone. And while many people think that simply tossing their used toothpaste tubes in the trash is no big deal, the reality is that these tubes can have a significant environmental impact. 

Fortunately, there are now a number of ways to recycle toothpaste tubes. For example, some companies are now making toothbrushes and other personal care products from recycled toothpaste tubes. 

Others are using the plastic from these tubes to create everything from construction materials to auto parts. 

And some companies are even working on ways to convert used toothpaste tubes into fuel. So next time you finish a tube of toothpaste, make sure to recycle it rather than throwing it away. 

Minimize Toothbrush Waste In The Future

Did you know that the average toothbrush contains enough plastic to make a small toy? And, on average, we each go through at least 2 toothbrushes per year. That’s a lot of waste! Here are some ways to minimize your toothbrush waste.

Buy A Bamboo Toothbrush

Bamboo toothbrushes are a much more environmentally friendly option. They’re made from a renewable resource, and they biodegrade quickly after you’re done with them. Plus, bamboo is actually softer than plastic, so it’s gentle on your gums. Switching to a bamboo toothbrush is a small change that can make a big difference for the environment. 

Another option is to purchase a compostable toothbrush. These toothbrushes are made from sustainable materials like bamboo, and they can be composted when you’re finished with them.

Use A Toothbrush With A Recyclable Head

There are many reasons to choose a toothbrush with a recyclable head. 

First, it helps to reduce waste. A recyclable head can be used again and again, which means that you won’t have to throw away your toothbrush every few months. 

Second, it’s good for the environment. A recyclable head doesn’t require the use of new materials, so it helps to conserve resources. 

Third, it’s more economical. A recyclable head toothbrush will cost you less in the long run than a disposable one. 

Finally, it’s more hygienic. A recyclable head toothbrush can be cleaned more thoroughly than a disposable one, which means that you’ll be less likely to experience oral health problems.

Make Your Own Toothpaste

Most store-bought toothpastes contain a host of unhealthy ingredients, including fluoride, artificial sweeteners, and harsh chemicals. Not only are these ingredients bad for your health, but they can also be harmful to the environment. 

Fluoride, for example, is a known pollutant that can damage delicate ecosystems. And many of the artificial sweeteners used in toothpaste are made from petroleum, a non-renewable resource that takes millions of years to form. 

By contrast, making your own toothpaste is a much more sustainable option. There are plenty of recipes available online that use all-natural ingredients, such as baking soda, coconut oil, and essential oils. 

Plus, by making your own toothpaste, you can avoid those pesky plastic tubes that end up in landfills. 

What Can I Do With Old Toothbrushes?

The next time you’re looking for a way to recycle an old toothbrush, keep these tips in mind. Not only are they good for the environment, but they can also help keep your smile healthy and sparkling! Have you tried recycling your toothbrushes before? If so, what method do you find works best for you? Let us know in the comments below.

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