How to Dispose of a Bicycle Helmet

How to Dispose of a Bicycle Helmet
Bicycle helmets are tricky to recycle because they are made of multiple materials. Unlike a soda can, which you can simply discard in your recycle bin, you must first dismantle your bicycle helmet before distributing the different materials to recycling centers. Taking a small amount of effort to recycle your helmet saves space in landfills and reduces your footprint on the environment.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Scissors or utility knife
  • Hammer
  • Cloth rag
  • General-purpose household cleaner
Step 1
Refer to the owner's manual of your helmet or contact the helmet manufacturer to find out if the outer shell of your helmet is made out of recyclable materials.
Step 2
Call your trash company to find out if they accept the type of material the outer shell of your helmet is made of, for recycling. If they do not, ask if they know of another agency that does.
Step 3
Cut the helmet straps off the helmet, using a pair of scissors or a utility knife. Discard the straps in the trashcan.
Step 4
Break your helmet in half by hitting it with a hammer. Pull the outer shell off the inner EPS foam liner. Throw the outer shell in your recycle can if your trash company accepts the materials or send the shell to a place that does accept it. If you are unable to find a recycling place that will accept the outer shell, dispose of the shell in your trashcan.
Step 5
Clean the inner EPS foam liner of the helmet, using a cloth rag and general-purpose household cleaner, to remove adhesive and dirt. EPS Foam recycling centers prefer to receive the foam in clean condition.
Step 6
Contact the Alliance of Foam Packaging Recyclers (See Resources) to find an EPS foam drop-off recycling center in your area or if a center is not close to you, the address of a mail-in recycling center.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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