How to dispose of broken laundry basket?
November 15, 2017 10:56 AM   Subscribe

We have a laundry basket that looks a lot like this that has a crack across one of the handles. We'd like to get rid of it. Is it recyclable? Would Goodwill take it? Or should we toss it into the trash? Or some other option? (This is in Seattle.)
posted by mpark to Home & Garden (14 answers total)
I mean, do you want to repair it instead of getting a new one? You can use Sugru on that to fix the handle, and eliminate more waste in the world.
posted by juniperesque at 10:57 AM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Look at the bottom—does it have a recycling symbol on it? Many baskets like that are No. 5 plastic, which is recyclable. Anyway, I'd be in favor of repairing a lot of things, but if your basket can be recycled, that might be the better option. I've accidentally fallen and cut myself in multiple places on a cracked laundry basket I happened to be carrying once, and it was very unenjoyable and got blood on my pants. In my opinion it's better to get rid of them once they've cracked like that.
posted by limeonaire at 11:03 AM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

I'd toss it into the trash. The cost of repairing it is less than the cost of trashing it forever. And while waste is bad, humanity will eventually face & fix that problem, and to get to that point we should be as efficient with our time and money in pursuing the current issues. Like, take the money you would spend extra on glue or fixing or recycling it, and spend that money on renewable energy research or mosquito nets.
posted by bbqturtle at 11:05 AM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

You might want to check with your dpw, mine takes "bulky plastic items" on their monthly drop-off days, even items that they don't accept for curbside recycling.
posted by mr vino at 11:20 AM on November 15, 2017

You can put it out for the trash pretty easily, but if you want to fix it, can't you just duct-tape the handle? I figure probably 1/4 of the laundry baskets in the US are duct-taped across the handles due to the same issue.
posted by Slinga at 11:21 AM on November 15, 2017 [4 favorites]

Everybody should have some two part epoxy laying around the house. Clean the crack with some rubbing alcohol, squeeze out and mix a dab of epoxy, glue up the crack. If it doesn't hold, then recycle if possible.

Or use it for something else, trim off the top and put it under the sink to hold cleaning supplies so you can just slide it in and out...
posted by zengargoyle at 11:22 AM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I use my old laundry basket as a recycling bin. We don't have curbside here, so I use it to carry other recyclables from my car to the recycling center bins.
posted by terrapin at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

The government agency responsible for recycling in our area (NB: not Seattle) has a website with FAQs about what they will accept and recycle from curbside bins. Funnily enough they specifically list this:

Rigid plastics (such as laundry baskets, buckets, and toys)

I doubt our recycling is super cutting edge compared to anywhere else, so see if there's a similar website for your area -- I'm guessing they'll accept it.
posted by duoshao at 11:45 AM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

And I just found this (apparently laundry baskets are referred to as Residential Bulky Rigids in recycling industry parlance).
posted by duoshao at 11:47 AM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Have you tried calling 311? Seattle has such a service and it's usually pretty handy.

My local recycling program won't accept laundry baskets.
posted by Calzephyr at 11:57 AM on November 15, 2017

For Seattle you can use the lookup tool. While laundry basket isn't in the dropdown menu a search for it shows it's classed under "plastic outdoor furniture" which is recyclable.
posted by O9scar at 2:01 PM on November 15, 2017

Thanks, everyone! I hadn't thought of repairing it because we have plenty of other laundry baskets, but I'll think about repairing and repurposing it. If that doesn't work out, I'll recycle it.
posted by mpark at 2:16 PM on November 15, 2017

Late to the game, but just because the handle is broken doesn't mean it can't still hold stuff in it. Does it fit under the bed? Put your replacement sheets in it and slide it under, for quick and easy access when you are changing the bed.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:09 PM on November 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

For future reference, please do not donate broken items of any sort to Goodwill or other organizations, including rummage sales. They have limited resources for repair & will devote those to items with higher return. They will end up trashing a broken laundry basket, which adds to their disposal costs. Generally, if it is not good enough for you, dispose of it on your own or find an alternate use. The exception is old clothing/rags/shoes which many organizations take & sell to bulk recyclers. Helpful if pre-sorted & marked as rags.

Because I used to manage donation drop-off/sorting for a huge rummage sale, I have a rant about this. I will spare you the details, but it never ceased to amaze me how people used it as an opportunity to get rid of broken stuff they didn’t know how to dispose of. Dumpsters are expensive.
posted by Nosey Mrs. Rat at 9:45 PM on November 19, 2017

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