Are Toilet Seats Recyclable?
The restroom has been essential since the inception of man. Regardless of how it was designed over the centuries, it has always been a part of man’s important structures. From ancient times, man has always found a way and place to relieve himself of bodily waste.
The design of toilets has evolved over the years, from making holes in the ground to chamber pots, communal outhouses, and finally, the flush toilet. Who would have imagined that there would be a toilet design offering the best comfort, ease, and convenience?
In searching for better ways to dispose of human waste, man has tried and designed different toilet designs. The latter was always better and more comfortable than the former. Here we are now, with flush toilets, who knows if a better and more advanced toilet would be invented later?
Toilets are designed to have toilet seats, and many people have wondered what the functions of the toilet seats are. That is a question for another time. We are concerned with the effect toilet seats to have on the environment. Can toilet seats be recycled? Are they eco-friendly? We will provide answers to these questions and many more in this blog post.
Can You Recycle Toilet Seats?
Toilet seats have been around for a long time, and their use does not seem to be diminishing at all. Until a better and more comfortable alternative to toilet seats is developed, the normal toilet seat will still be used. Nevertheless, is the toilet seat recyclable?
Toilet seats are recyclable. Toilet seats can be made from different materials, wood, resin, duroplast, fiberboard, and plastic. So, the material used to produce the toilet seat determines of it can be recycled or not. We will look at the types of toilet seats, their composition, and if they can be recycled or not.
We will start by looking at the wooden toilet seats. Wood is an organic material, and regardless of what it is used to produce, it can be recycled. However, in this case, a wooden toilet seat cannot be recycled because it has been treated with different materials, so its chemical composition is altered after the process.
When the flush toilet was first invented, the seats were made of wood. Different types of wood were used, and a vanish was used to finish and seal it up. The finishing process is to keep the toilet seat water-proof, clean, and less responsive to temperature.
However, this process has altered the composition of the wood, making it difficult to recycle. And if it eventually becomes recycled, it cannot be used to create other wooden products, neither can it be used to make toilet seats again because it has lost all the strength, durability, and properties of fresh wood.
Next is the resin toilet seat. Resin toilet seats are the most aesthetically pleasing toilet seats you can get. There are different types of resins, and the type of resin used to manufacture the toilet seat depends on the manufacturer. There are polyester/fiberglass resin, polyurethane resin, epoxy resin, silicone resin, and eco-resin. If your toilet seat is made from either eco-resin, silicone resin, or epoxy resin, it can be recycled.
Duroplast has become one of the popular choice materials for producing toilet seats. And for a good reason, duroplast is very durable and long-lasting. However, it cannot be recycled. Duroplast is designed to last for a long time; it can withstand harsh cleaning chemicals and does not need to be replaced often, thanks to its unique chemical composition.
Fiberboard toilet seats are made from compressed wood fibers, hence the reason for the name medium-density fiberboard. Fiberboard is an organic material, and when toilet seats are produced from it, they are durable and high-quality. Fiberboard toilet seats are recyclable, and they can be recycled into products like paper fiber, hog fuel, landscape mulch, and compost.
You can see that of all the materials used to produce toilet seats, wooden toilet seats, some types of resin toilet seats, and duroplast toilet seats cannot be recycled. The chemicals used in manufacturing them have made them difficult to recycle.
Are Plastic Toilet Seats Recyclable?
Plastic has become the most popularly used raw material globally. You can find plastic fibers in almost every item produced. The versatility of plastic has made it the most common synthetic material. With the increase in the demand for plastic to produce essential items, there have been concerns from environmentally conscious people.
Questions like can plastic toilet seats be recycled? This has been one of the questions that arose since plastic became the choice material for producing toilet seats.
No, plastic toilet seats cannot be recycled. Plastic toilet seats contain about 50 percent recycled materials. So, plastic seats are the products of other recycled materials. Most of these recycled materials have been recycled many times before being used to produce toilet seats.
An important thing to note is that as plastic is being recycled, its fiber quality is reduced, making its value decrease after every recycling process. To make the plastic used to produce toilet seats durable and long-lasting, there have to be many chemical processes.
Recycling a material that has undergone many chemical processes can be difficult because it contains a lot of toxins. These toxins are not needed in producing other products. So, when the plastic toilet seat is recycled, it cannot be used to produce any item. However, it can be turned into concrete for sidewalks or roads.
Are Toilet Seats Universal?
Have you ever had to change your toilet seat, and you are confused because you see different types of toilet seats? The first question that will pop in your head is, are toilet seats universal? Or do they come in different shapes and sizes? Let us find out, so you won’t be confused when you need to purchase a new toilet seat next.
Toilet seats are not universal. They come in different shapes and sizes, the most common being round toilet seats and elongated toilet seats. Before we look at these two categories of toilet seats, let us dive into the universal toilet standards.
- The distance between the seat post holes (the two bolts that hold the toilet seat to the toilet bowl) is standard across all types of toilet seats. The distance is 5.5 inches.
- The width of the bowls is the same regardless of shape and size.
With that been said, let us see the two main categories of toilet seats.
Elongated Toilet Seat
The elongated toilet seat is the most recent type of toilet seat, and it has a length of 18.5 inches, from the seat post holes to the front edge and a width of 14 inches. Hotels, airports, gas stations, and other large businesses use elongated toilet seats. Some of the advantages of having an elongated toilet seat are;
- It is more comfortable for adults.
- It is easy to clean because you can see the front of the bowl.
- It contributes to restroom aesthetics because of its modern look.
- It is larger, so it has more storage for water and a stronger flush.
The disadvantages of an elongated toilet seat are cost and space. It costs more to purchase an elongated toilet seat, and it takes up space in your bathroom. Having it in a small bathroom makes it difficult to access the lavatory.
Round Toilet Seat
The round toilet seat is the most common type of toilet seat. It has a length of 16.5 inches from the seat post holes to the front edge, and it is about 14 inches wide. Round toilet seats are very common in homes because of their smaller size. Some advantages of using a round toilet seat include;
- It is cheaper and easily affordable.
- It is very comfortable for children.
- It occupies less space, making it the perfect toilet seat for small bathrooms.
You can see that the major difference between the elongated toilet seat and the round toilet seat is the length. Both toilet seats have the same width. Before you purchase a new toilet seat, be sure to know the length of the previous toilet seat. The width and seat post holes are standard-sized.
Can You Throw Away Toilet Seats in the Garbage?
To quickly get rid of items, many people throw things away into the garbage bin. They do not know if the items should be in the garbage bin or disposed of through other methods. Do you have toilet seats that you want to dispose of by dumping them in the garbage bin? Let us find out if dumping toilet seats in the garbage are the right thing to do.
The answer to this question is dependent on the type of toilet seat. The material the toilet seat is made of determines if you can toss it into the garbage or not. If the toilet seat is manufactured from resin, wood, or fiberboard, you can toss it into the garbage bin.
However, if it is made of plastic or duroplast, do not throw it into the garbage. The first three materials are recyclable, so they will be taken to recycling facilities. But the last two are not recyclable, so they will end up in landfills, where they take up space.
What Can You Do With Old Toilet Seats?
If you have just replaced the toilet seats in your home, you would have some old toilet seats that you want to get rid of. But you have no idea how to dispose of them. We got you covered. Here are some of the best ways to upcycle old and unwanted toilet seats.
1. Art Piece
Your old toilet seat can be used to create a nice work of art. Unleash the creativity in you and turn the old toilet seat into a piece of art. You can add embellishments to the design, and you are free to decide the paint, the pattern, and the design that will be on the toilet seat. A man named Barney Smith turned enough toilet seats into art that he opened his museum to showcase them.
With old toilet seats, you can make your waterfall. You can even create more than one waterfall, depending on the number of toilet seats you have.
To do this, place the toilet on a flat rock slab in the middle of a small pond and pump water from the pond to the bowl. Easy, you have a waterfall in your garden. You can even decide to paint the toilet with any color of your choice. What beautiful scenery.
3. Garden Chair
You can use old toilets as garden chairs. It would help if you considered placing a waterproof cushion on it to make the seat softer. First, clean the toilet, glue the toilet seat and lid down securely, and paint it to suit your taste and choice. You can also add wheels to make the seats move easily.
The challenge now is to make our environment safe again. Our activities throughout the years have been the cause of further environmental damages and disorders. At this point, we cannot continue to engage in activities that aren’t environmentally friendly and act oblivious.
We must embrace recyclable, biodegradable, and environmentally friendly materials in everything we do. It is one huge step to saving the environment. We have some ideas on how to dispose of toilet seats that you will find useful properly. Have fun trying them out.