Safety razor blades will be familiar to most people. They’re the standard razor blades used in tools such as Stanley knives as well as safety razors.
Safety razors like Clear Confidence’s reusable bamboo safety razor use these types of razor blades in place of disposable razor blade cartridges. Razor blade cartridges involve a mix of metal, plastic, rubber and other synthetic materials, and thus, they tend to be non-recyclable as standard household rubbish.
Contrastingly, standard steel safety razor blades are made from only thin sheets of steel – this makes them much easier to recycle.
However, since safety razor blades are ‘sharps’, they do come with some restrictions of their own.
Here, we’ll be answering “can safety razor blades be recycled?”
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Can Safety Razor Blades be Recycled?
The short answer is yes, in the vast majority of situations, safety razor blades are fully recyclable.
The UK police say that all knives and blades can be recycled; “All metal knives can be taken to your local waste disposal site where there will be a skip for scrap metal.”
They advise that the blade part of the razor is covered up.
You can also lookup your local authority’s recycling centre and advice to find out their own advice for disposing of knives and blades.
- Manchester Council states that steel safety razors are fully recyclable in the scrap metal bin at the recycling centre.
- Oxford County Council states that razors can be recycled in your recycling bin at home.
- Islington Council London states that razor blades should be recycled in specific knife bins.
- Other councils, like North Hertfordshire Council, suggest that razor blades should be thrown directly into the standard bin.
There is some conflicting information here given that the Police clearly state that all metal knives can be recycled in the scrap metal container at the recycling centre. The best thing to do is to ask an attendant at the recycling centre. Vast volumes of sharp waste end up in the scrap metal container – scrap metal is not handled by bare hands so it should be safe.
Common sense dictates that throwing away protected razor blades in the scrap metal recycling bin is fine the vast majority of the time.
Here are 3 steps to take when recycling your safety razor blades:
1) Cover the Blade
The blade itself should be covered. Collect your used razor blades and then tape some paper or card around them to protect them. You can still throw this away in the scrap metal bin.
2) Use a Blade Bank
Blade banks are specifically designed to house used razor blades. They’re inexpensive to purchase and come with some razor blades.
3) Use a Metal Tin
You can store your used razor blades in a small metal tin. Mints or biscuit tins work well. You can then throw the entire thing into the recycling bin when it’s full. Tape up the container to ensure that it doesn’t come apart.
If You Can’t Recycle Your Razor Blades
If you can’t recycle your razor blades then all is not lost! Check out our post on how to dispose of safety razor blades here for more information and ideas.
You may be able to smelt your razor blades down or take them to a blacksmith!
You could also cut the edges off and use them to make your own DIY sculptures.
In the vast majority of situations, though, you can recycle your safety razor blades. This makes them sustainable and eco-friendly to use in the long term.
The same cannot be said about disposable or cartridge razor blades which end up in landfill each year.