San Antonio has recycling and garbage pick up for nearly every type of material, from plastics to toxics; all except for silicone and latex. What’s the big deal about silicone and latex, you ask? Well, these are the key materials used to make sex toys and condoms. Since these items are not on the list of acceptable garbage or recyclable items, dumping them in the garbage presents a dilemma; one where these items are clogging landfills, possibly while adding very unappealing (and transmittable) bacteria and even viruses to the soil.
An employee of San Antonio Waste Management said when he asked a supervisor whether they took these types of materials he was told that there was no provision for them. “We don’t even have a private contract with anyone who handles these things. You’d have to find a company outside of the city who might take them.”
This is a problem. Safe sex should include safe disposal of sex toys and products. Eventually, sex toys wear out and must be disposed of. In the best scenario, they won’t have any harmful bacteria attached to them from frequent usage and infrequent cleaning. A middle-of-the-road scenario might have some of these toys covered in yeast bacteria, a common infection among women. The worst-case scenario would be sex toys that have been in contact with persons who have Hepatitis, STD’s or HIV. I’m no expert on the shelf-life of such bacteria and viruses outside of the body and placed in a moist, dark landfill, but the very idea of saturating such a large area of land (where rain could wash those pathogens far down into the soil and perhaps into a water system) is jarring to say the least.
Condoms are disposed of down toilets, daily, also, introducing a whole host of blood/body fluids into the water supply. It seems that any item that comes into intimate contact with the human body ought to be treated like medical waste and disposed of accordingly. One wonders why San Antonio hasn’t confronted this issue head on. If we can’t dump old prescriptions down the loo or in the garbage, why are we allowed to throw away what is surely medical waste without thought? Since no one has addressed this situation, I’ve sussed out the solution for you.
Treat all sex toys and condoms as medical waste. Texas Decon Environmental Services handles the San Antonio/Austin area, but will travel anywhere in Texas if need be. Kirk, at TDES, shared “We do cater to residential pick ups in addition to business contract services. We ask that residents who call for our service save up enough of their disposable items to fill up the box because it’s more cost effective – a 40lb pound box for sharp’s (needles) costs anywhere from $30 – $50 per pick up.” That’s a lot of condoms and sex toys!
Kirk emphasized that there is a difference between regulated and non-regulated waste. Regulated waste, which would be medical waste from hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, and even schools, is mandated by law to contract with a medical waste management company for proper disposal. Anything that comes out of a home or a hotel, etc, is non-regulated and not mandated by law, therefore allows for that waste to be tossed into regular trash.
Not mandating certain items that contain either blood or body fluid that come from any other place besides hospitals and the like exposes people to possible contamination by those items. “I worry more about contracting Hepatitis than HIV” says Kirk. “Hepatitis can last up to several months outside the human host.” Well, there you go!
Environmentally conscious sexy people can save up their vibes and used condoms until they weigh the equivalent of a medium-sized dog, enough to fill up a medical container, and then call TDES at 800-978-8192 to arrange pick up. For more information on TDES, visit www.texasdecon.com.
There’s no reason why sex toys should go from being a pleasure to being a danger. Dispose of adult products and condoms responsibly. If you want to see San Antonio add a medical waste pick up to your residence, call or write your city representatives at San Antonio City Council.
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M. Gwynn has authored two books, Harvest and The Cat Who Wanted to be a Reindeer on Amazon.com .
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