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Trusted by millions in the cannabis and vaping industries
October 27, 2023
6 min to read

How to Properly Dispose of & Recycle Disposable Vapes

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Andres Roman

While the essential advantage of disposable vapes has always been the ease of use, an often avoided subject that must be at the forefront of the conversation is how to dispose of disposable vapes correctly.

As they rise in popularity, more and more people are getting rid of these vapes in the wrong way, which poses a threat to the environment and causes vast losses of lithium—a material that exists in limited quantities on the planet and is essential for new technologies, like electric car batteries. So, what can vapers do?

In this guide, we’ll show you the best way to recycle your disposable vapes and dispose of them safely and responsibly in order to minimize the impact on the environment and our limited resources.

What vape devices are considered disposable vapes?

Disposable vapes are simple devices that come prefilled with juice. They are intended for one-time use only, hence the name disposable. Once the vape juice inside these devices runs out, they must be disposed of.

The first disposables had low amounts of juice (2-5 mL) and non-rechargeable batteries. The concept was that you buy a device, vape it till it’s empty, and dispose of it. In recent years, disposables have gotten larger (some come with 15 mL of juice or more) and have been fitted with charging ports. So, today, disposables are practically all-in-one non-refillable vapes.

Unlike most other vapes, which can only be found in vape shops, disposable vapes can also be found in convenience stores, corner stores, and gas stations. Brands like EBDesign (previously called Elf Bar,) Puff Bar, and Flum are some of the most popular disposable vapes on the market, with the EBDesign BC5000 being one of the most popular disposables worldwide.

Can you throw away disposable vapes?

While it is true that disposables are easy to use and anyone can pick them up and start vaping, you can’t throw away disposable vapes in your nearest garbage bin. This is because every disposable vape comes with a lithium battery. Throwing these vapes in the garbage poses a fire hazard, since these batteries can explode and/or cause a fire when compressed. They can also release dangerous chemicals to local landfills, ultimately hurting our environment. More importantly, there are only limited quantities of lithium on earth, so it is in our best interest to recycle this resource, which is essential for technological progress.
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How to dispose of or recycle disposable vapes

You can properly dispose of and recycle disposable vapes in several ways. Let’s start from the simplest and move on to the most complex methods.
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Your local vape shop

Believe it or not, your local vape shop might already have a recycling program for disposable vapes. If this is the case, all you need to do is to visit them once your disposables are finished and turn them in. If you don’t have a local vape shop, we suggest you look one up on Google and call them to see if they offer any disposable recycling services.

Recycling programs offered by disposable vape manufacturers

Another way you can dispose of and recycle disposable vapes is to return them to the manufacturer. Many of the biggest manufacturers offer recycling programs. Below you can find some manufacturers that will happily remove your disposable vapes from your hands and, in most cases, offer discounts and free shipping.

  • Dinner Lady
  • STLTH
  • (UK) Totally Wicked
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    Locate Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) facilities in the United Kingdom

    If you live in the United Kingdom, non-profit organizations like Material Focus and their campaign “Save Your Electricals,” which explicitly addresses disposable vapes, helps vapers dispose of their disposable vapes by making it extremely easy to locate the nearest Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Facility.

    All you need to do is access the website and put your location. The website will locate your closest WEEE facility, giving you their address and contact information.

    These facilities can take apart your disposables and remove the aluminum, lithium battery, and other recyclable materials from the device. All you need to do is bring them in. We suggest you save several devices and bring them once you have many. Just remember to call ahead to see if the facility has any requirements to turn in these devices.

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    Locate Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facilities in the United States

    In the United States, it is more challenging to recycle these devices, but it is not impossible. Since every state has different regulations regarding the disposal of disposable vapes, we suggest you start with your local government.

    Below, you can find some great databases showing local government facilities and private sector businesses that recycle electronics and batteries. Your best bet is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) Facilities, which will be better equipped to deal with disposable vapes.

    You’ll have to call ahead to see which facilities will accept disposable vapes and if their services are free or charge a fee. You can find your nearest HHW facility on these websites:

    • Call2Recycle
    • GreenerGadgets
    • Earth911
    • GreenCitizen
    • The databases above will also show places like Home Depot, Best Buy, ACE Hardware, and Lowe’s, which all have battery recycling bins. The problem is that these businesses will only take batteries and not the vape as a whole. Still, you can call and ask about their policies regarding disposable vapes.

      Conclusion

      Recycling disposable vapes is extremely important and easy to do. If your local vape shops or manufacturers don’t run recycling programs, it’s worth checking for waste facilities in your area. If you live in the United Kingdom, Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Facilities will take the disposable vapes and quickly recycle them. In the United States, your best option is Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facilities.

      Both of these types of businesses and facilities can easily be found with the databases provided above. All you need to do is enter your address or zip code, and your nearest WEEE or HHW facility will be shown.

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      Andres Roman

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      Andres Roman

      I'm a professional content writer and copywriter who used vaping to quit his nicotine addiction. With 5+ years of experience writing for brands and international companies, I want to educate and inform the world about the possibilities of vaping as a smoke cessation tool. You can find me on Linkedin.

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