Recycling helmets

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
john1B
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Recycling helmets

Postby john1B » 6 Jan 2020, 11:27am

Hi, Does anyone in UK know the best way to dispose of worn out cycling helmets? Some say, dismantle into separate categories of plastic, recycle the outer and send polystyrene inner to tip for burial others say send the complete helmet to the waste tip for burial. J;-)

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Mick F
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby Mick F » 6 Jan 2020, 11:44am

Good question.

I've not worn my helmet since 2015 and it sits there on a shelf unloved and unwanted. There's nothing wrong with it but I can't sell it despite asking on here. No-one wants a secondhand helmet.

A few years ago, my old helmet - the one before the one above - was used as a planter with pansies in it hanging on a hook out the front!
Later, I used it for experimentation by putting a filled bag of wet sand in it and dropping it from a metre high onto solid concrete to see how long it would last. Two or three drops, and it was cracked.

Can't remember what I did with it. I think it went into the "plastics" skip at the local dump.
Mick F. Cornwall

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mjr
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby mjr » 6 Jan 2020, 12:42pm

Most "plastics" skips at household waste centres don't accept expanded polystyrene. If you put it in there without asking, it may contaminate the skip load so at best the council doesn't get paid for it and at worst has to pay for sorting and extra disposal.

It's a terrible material for recycling: there are very few places in the UK that recycle it and it's paid for by weight, so the transport costs far exceed any revenue unless you have the equipment to compress it safely first. The lightweight nature also means it gets blown away easily if broken up, readily ending up as part of the plastic rubbish in the sea. It is now banned in over 100 US cities and many more responsible companies are replacing it with plant-based compostable alternatives or paper-based ones which are recycled more widely. https://www.countryliving.com/uk/homes- ... ecyclable/ https://www.thebalancesmb.com/introduct ... ng-2877866

If someone wanted to reduce the environmental benefits of cycling, they would be an evil genius to invent such an item requiring regular replacement that they could emotionally-blackmail riders to use that is a combination of plastics (already awkward to recycle) with one of them expanded polystyrene!
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Jan 2020, 4:04pm

It's a brilliant material for recycling - assuming it is already pure and at the factory... they do it a bit like glass - they just chuck bits back into the starting hopper.

But the low density does make it horrible to transport.

Popcorn is an interesting alternative packing material - it is shipped in a dense format, popped and used as packaging, then can be composted.
It has obvious drawbacks for use as an item of fashion clothing however...
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

Mike Sales
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby Mike Sales » 6 Jan 2020, 4:06pm

[quote="[XAP]
Popcorn is an interesting alternative packing material - it is shipped in a dense format, popped and used as packaging, then can be composted.
..[/quote]

Or eaten.

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Gattonero
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby Gattonero » 7 Jan 2020, 2:20pm

john1B wrote:Hi, Does anyone in UK know the best way to dispose of worn out cycling helmets? Some say, dismantle into separate categories of plastic, recycle the outer and send polystyrene inner to tip for burial others say send the complete helmet to the waste tip for burial. J;-)


Good post!
I never thought about it, perhaps worth asking shops if they can get manufacturers to ship old helmets in bulk to the original factory?
It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best,
since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.
Thus you remember them as they actually are...

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Cunobelin
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby Cunobelin » 7 Jan 2020, 6:45pm

Image

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foxyrider
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby foxyrider » 7 Jan 2020, 9:00pm

Gattonero wrote:
john1B wrote:Hi, Does anyone in UK know the best way to dispose of worn out cycling helmets? Some say, dismantle into separate categories of plastic, recycle the outer and send polystyrene inner to tip for burial others say send the complete helmet to the waste tip for burial. J;-)


Good post!
I never thought about it, perhaps worth asking shops if they can get manufacturers to ship old helmets in bulk to the original factory?


better still - stop buying the wretched things! :lol:
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

Mike Sales
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby Mike Sales » 7 Jan 2020, 9:02pm

foxyrider wrote:
better still - stop buying the wretched things! :lol:


Now, now, you will get sent to stand in the corner.

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TrevA
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby TrevA » 8 Jan 2020, 6:51pm

All of our non-recyclable waste is burnt to provide energy for the local district heating scheme, so doesn’t go to landfill. I imagine that old helmets burn quite well.
A cart horse trapped in the body of a man.
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foxyrider
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby foxyrider » 8 Jan 2020, 10:02pm

Gattonero wrote:
foxyrider wrote:
Gattonero wrote:
Good post!
I never thought about it, perhaps worth asking shops if they can get manufacturers to ship old helmets in bulk to the original factory?


better still - stop buying the wretched things! :lol:


:roll:
:roll:
:roll:
Though I'm all for the freedom of use them, because we should all have the right to leave home and be back in one piece and not injured because of someone else's fault, thus not having manfatory protection devices; to advocate for not using protections at all, whatever the circumstances are, is plain silly. I.e., proper mountain bike riding (not a flat bridleway!) without a helmet is just stupid.


They don't have to be polystyrene and i certainly didn't say don't wear one at all
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Jan 2020, 9:44am

Gattonero wrote:Though I'm all for the freedom of use them, because we should all have the right to leave home and be back in one piece and not injured because of someone else's fault, thus not having manfatory protection devices; to advocate for not using protections at all, whatever the circumstances are, is plain silly. I.e., proper mountain bike riding (not a flat bridleway!) without a helmet is just stupid.


Do you have any evidence that the supposed protection device actually offers significant protection?

Else you are effectively doing the modern version of criticising people for advocating against carrying a rabbit's foot.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

mattheus
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby mattheus » 9 Jan 2020, 9:47am

Does a helmet count as "single use plastic" ?

That could be justification for banning them - or at least for not using them (-:

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby [XAP]Bob » 9 Jan 2020, 11:23am

mattheus wrote:Does a helmet count as "single use plastic" ?

That could be justification for banning them - or at least for not using them (-:


Not sure - I think the vast majority are zero use plastic (in that the vast majority should, according to the manufacturer, be scrapped before being used.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

peetee
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Re: Recycling helmets

Postby peetee » 9 Jan 2020, 12:32pm

Cunobelin wrote:Image


Love it!

On the garden theme, polystyrene makes good, reusable drainage medium at the bottom of plant pots.
Current status report:
Back on two wheels in deepest Pastyland and loving every minute. Mission: to enjoy big, bad hills again.