Can You Recycle Toilet Seats? (Find Out Now!)

Jessica Vaillancourt
by Jessica Vaillancourt

Are you looking to get rid of your current toilet seat? A toilet seat is the part of your toilet that comes into contact with people the most. Frequent sitting, urine leaks, and even vomit can cause stains over time. Along with this discoloration, bad odors and general wear degrade the seat. Whatever the reason you’re getting rid of it, you might be wondering: can you recycle toilet seats?

In general, toilet seats are NOT recyclable. Most recycling facilities recommend that you place your old toilet seat in the garbage bin. Some toilet seat materials, such as certain types of resin, fiberboard, and plastic MIGHT be recyclable. But this depends on your local recycling program. In addition, some recycling companies also recycle the whole toilet.

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What are Toilet Seats Made Of?

To figure out if you can recycle your toilet seat, you should know about the different materials toilet seats come in. This will help you figure out if you can possibly recycle it or not. Some may be accepted at recycling facilities to repurpose into something else, and some will not.

Resin Toilet Seats

Resin toilet seats are both visually pleasing and durable, with an offering of floral and other crafty designs. This material comes in either a resin made from organic materials, or a synthetic resin.

There are many different types of resin toilet seats: eco-resin, silicone resin, epoxy resin, fiberglass resin, and polyurethane resin. Some of these are recyclable, while some are not. It can get a little confusing, so contact your local recycling facility and ask about resin specifics.

Here are the resins you CAN recycle:

  • Eco-resin
  • Silicone resin
  • Epoxy resin

If your seat is a fiberglass or polyurethane resin, you will not be able to recycle it.

Fiberboard Toilet Seats

Fiberboard toilet seats are made from compressed wood fibers. These seats are durable, high quality, and their material is organic. Since they are made from wood fibers and aren’t chemically processed like wood toilet seats are, fiberboard toilet seats CAN be recycled. When recycled, fiberboard seats can be turned into paper fiber, compost, or mulch.

Wood Toilet Seats

There are two types of wood toilet seats: wood veneer, and enameled wood. Wood veneer is made out of wood strips formed around a wood core. Enameled wood is wood painted with enamel. Both are chemically treated, because wood is an organic material and without protection, would degrade and rot.

Wood toilet seats are comfortable and attractive. They look more elegant than the traditional white plastic seats. But they are not as durable or easy to clean as duroplast or plastics. Unfortunately, because of their chemical treatment, wood toilet seats are NOT recyclable.

These chemical treatments cannot break down during the recycling process. When wood is made into a toilet seat, it’s lost all its organic properties. This prevents the wood from being repurposed or made into another toilet seat.

Duroplast Toilet Seats

Duroplast is a synthetic, thermosetting plastic. This material is made from a polymer blend that’s reinforced with strong fibers. Duroplast is one of the most durable, long-lasting toilet seats on the market.

Unfortunately, despite their durability, duroplast toilet seats are NOT recyclable. They are unable to break down during the recycling process, due to their synthetic polymer material. You will need to throw them in the trash.

Plastic Toilet Seats

Plastic toilet seats are usually made from polypropylene. While this material is one of the cheapest on the market, its longevity and durability isn’t as good as other synthetic materials.

Because they already contain about 50% recycled materials that have been repeatedly reused, plastic toilet seats are generally NOT recyclable.

There are some exceptions to this. For example, the manufacturing company Bemis makes a recyclable plastic toilet seat. But as a general rule of thumb, expect to trash your old plastic toilet seat.

Are Toilets Themselves Recyclable?

Maybe the toilet seat isn’t the only thing you’re getting rid of. You might also be wondering if you can recycle the toilet itself. Well, the answer isn’t that straightforward. In general, you cannot just leave your toilet on the curb for the recycling company to pick it up. But many recycling companies can arrange to pick up your porcelain toilet and recycle it. This porcelain can be ground up and reused for construction projects, or to make other household materials.

There may be a fee for this type of pickup. Check with your local recycling facility to see if they accept porcelain toilet bowls. You can also contact your local water authority for recommendations on where to drop off your toilet.

How to Get Rid of a Toilet Seat

Hopefully, you know what toilet seat type you have. This will allow you to determine if you can possibly recycle it. If you have a resin, fiberboard, or composite toilet seat, you MIGHT be able to recycle it. Follow these tips to get rid of your toilet seat.

  • Contact your local recycling company to ask if they accept toilet seats. Tell them what material it is made out of. 
  • Look into your toilet seat manufacturer’s recycling policy for any indications your seat is recyclable.  
  • Drop off the toilet seat at the dump or your local recycling company if they accept them.

If your toilet seat is not recyclable, you can attempt to throw it in the trash. Place it in a garbage bag, and toss it into the garbage bin for curbside pickup or drop-off. It is likely your toilet seat will end up in the landfill.

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Related Questions

What toilet seat fits my toilet?

Toilet seats primarily come in two sizes: elongated and round. Elongated toilet seats usually measure 18.5”, while round toilet seats measure 16.5”. The length of the toilet bowl should match the size of the toilet seat. Also, make sure the distance between the two bolts that attach the new seat to the toilet match up.

Why did my toilet seat turn yellow?

Direct sunlight can discolor the white plastic of your toilet seat, turning it yellow. Urinary stains can also contribute to yellow discoloration.

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Jessica Vaillancourt
Jessica Vaillancourt

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