ST. PAUL, Minn. – At 3M, we can help you partner with organizations that can help you dispose of your aging or expiring disposable respirator stockpiles in an environmentally friendly manner. Rather than disposing of hundreds, thousands, or more of the respirators in a landfill, here are some greener options to consider:
Option 1: Recycling
Today, it’s common to recycle all kinds of things: plastic bottles, aluminum cans, many kinds of paper products, rubber, etc. So, it should come as no surprise that there are ways to recycle some N95 disposable respirators, too.
You should check is your local recycling company might be able to accommodate 3M disposable respirators. For example, Deltco Plastics of Ashland, Wisconsin, will recycle expired 3M respirators at no charge (customers pay for shipping). For more information, contact Deltco at 715-682-9007.
You can also reach out to your local recycling provider to confirm eligible products, quantities, and fees (if any).
Option 2: Waste-2-Energy (W2E, WtE or EfW)
If recycling isn’t an option for you but you’d still like to find a way to dispose of your expired respirators outside of a landfill, you might consider trying Waste-2-Energy. W2E is a bit like recycling, but instead of turning your discarded items into new material things, the incineration of disposable materials is used to produce electricity or heat, or a combustible fuel commodity, such as methane, methanol, ethanol or synthetic fuels.
Also, sometimes called Energy from Waste (EfW), these energy recovery programs help to power everything from small, remote villages to large municipal power grids!
There are W2E and EfW options all over the country. One way to find out more about W2E options in your area is to contact Covanta Environmental Solutions at 844-COVANTA (nationwide), or LJP Enterprises at 507-625-1968 (Minnesota only).
Option 3: Donation
When you’re ready to replenish your inventory with newer product and there is shelf life remaining on the product, it may seem like a waste to get rid of respirators that still have not expired. For products that have at least 12 months of shelf life remaining, donation is a great option. By donating unused respirators, you’re helping support organizations with challenges ranging from natural disasters to outbreak response and more. 3Mgives can help you find groups in your community that can put your donation to good use. Visit the 3Mgives website for more information.
Find the right option for you
If you’re interested in learning more about end-of-life cycle options for your disposable respirators, please feel free to download our handy brochure or visit us at 3m.com/stockpile.
And while you’re there, check out our 3M™ Disposable Respirator Stockpile Maintenance Program, an inventory management program we offer that can help you save money while reducing your environmental footprint and providing supplies to people in need.