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January 19th, 2011 MARTY SMITH | Dr. Know
 

Dr. Know: Vibrator Batteries

     
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The batteries in my vibrator expanded due to corrosion and are leaking a gray fluid. I am unable to remove the batteries. Obviously the vibrator no longer works, sadly. My question is how to properly dispose of my vibrator so as not to be an environmental hazard. —Fluffy B.

First, let me congratulate you on whatever circumstances allowed you to neglect your vibrator for long enough that this could even happen. That said, you’re correct in the assumption that a corroded, oozing sex toy isn’t the most earth-friendly thing to chuck into the landfill, especially with the batteries still in.

Batteries can range from “not that great” to “horrible” for the planet. Lead-acid batteries, the kind that start your car, are the worst offenders, but I assume your vibrator doesn’t use those. (If it does, I wouldn’t wanna mess with you.) You could be using rechargeable NiCad batteries, though, which leak cadmium, a heavy metal.

Garden-variety alkaline batteries are less toxic than the rechargeable types, and the world probably wouldn’t end if you just chucked the damned thing into the trash. But you want to do the right thing, so you’ll be pleased to learn there are such things as sex toy recycling services. One right here in Portland, run by an outfit called Scarlet Girl (scarletgirl.com), can disassemble your old friend and dispose of all parts appropriately—including the batteries—and throw in a $10 gift card to boot.

Male pervs will be pleased to learn that inflatable sex dolls can also be recycled. But don’t put them in the curbside bin, and not just because the neighbors will snicker: Like plastic bags, deflated sex dolls risk becoming entangled in the processing machinery, which can be dangerous and costly, though admittedly hilarious.

 
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