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  1. #1
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    Old Helmet Disposal

    I've got a bunch of older helmets, helmets that I've grown out, that I've cracked, etc. What is the proper thing to do with them?

  2. #2
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    As far as recycling it goes you can probably recycle the plastic outer shell (unless it's fiberglass) if you remove it from the foam and then you can use the foam as packing materials or whatnot. You could use them for craft type projects like turn them into planters. Nothing says "I'm a bike dork" like bike helmets pots. Otherwise you can burn them at a generator plant if there is one in your area. I got these ideas from some site a long time ago but I don't recall which one.
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

  3. #3
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    How about donating the usable ones to someone who might need them. I know there are a bunch of charities that take in bikes around christmas time.

  4. #4
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    Come winter I'd don a Nomex balaclava, put the helmet on, and then put on a rain cover soaked in kerosene. Light and ride down the busiest street in town as fast as you can. Please post video.
    Mike
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  5. #5
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    As wasteful as it sounds, I think you should toss them.

    If you don't, somebody might end up using a substandard helmet, which isn't a good thing.
    Eric

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  6. #6
    Senior Member VegasVic's Avatar
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    Try the garbage can. They'll be gone within the week.

  7. #7
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    Get in touch with your inner Adam and Jamie. Make a mold of a head with ballistic gelletin, name it Buster, put the helmet on Buster and break out the sledge hammer. See if the helmet myth is true. Of course, you must save the last helmet for the explosives test.

  8. #8
    Mister Goody Two Shoes KnhoJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unkchunk
    Get in touch with your inner Adam and Jamie. Make a mold of a head with ballistic gelletin, name it Buster, put the helmet on Buster and break out the sledge hammer. See if the helmet myth is true. Of course, you must save the last helmet for the explosives test.
    I actually do something similar. Just a hunch, but I think a signpost would be a fairly harmful thing to run into headfirst. So, I have this four foot section of schedule 40 two inch steel pipe... It's amazing what a little plastic and foam will take.
    The next time around, I bought two cantaloupes; left one unprotected, and strapped an old helmet to the other one. Then turned the neighbor kids loose on them with baseball bats. Bike helmets protect cantaloupes very well!
    Science is fun! I've made a habit of destroying old helmets ever since.

  9. #9
    Extra Medium Member redtires's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnhoJ
    I actually do something similar. Just a hunch, but I think a signpost would be a fairly harmful thing to run into headfirst. So, I have this four foot section of schedule 40 two inch steel pipe... It's amazing what a little plastic and foam will take.
    The next time around, I bought two cantaloupes; left one unprotected, and strapped an old helmet to the other one. Then turned the neighbor kids loose on them with baseball bats. Bike helmets protect cantaloupes very well!
    Science is fun! I've made a habit of destroying old helmets ever since.
    OMG that was funny....what's even funnier is that I'm watching Mythbusters as I read this post! Personally, I prefer to bring them to the shooting range and call it a day when there is nothing left.

  10. #10
    OlyCommuter babaluey's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, helmets are not good candidates for recycling due to their materials and construction. Recyclers are businesses, and like other businesses they exist to make money. If there's no profitable market for a material, it won't be accepted. Maybe someday someone will come up with a good use for the materials.

    Until then, got any big trees in your yard? How about decorating one with colorful bike helmets next Christmas?

  11. #11
    Spelling Snob Hobartlemagne's Avatar
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    just burn them

    The first rule of flats is You don't talk about flats!

  12. #12
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    The proper thing to do with them would be to throw them in the trask. But that is no fun. Save at least one for Halloween.
    Born Again Bicyclist! I found my Faith.

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  13. #13
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Because EPS is a simple and stable molecule, it doesn't readily combine with other products to form new compounds. It doesn't degrade in normal circumstances
    (http://www.beaverplastics.com/beaver...ironment.html)

    ... you have to wonder about all those perfectly good (i.e. not broken) helmets in landfills that will never break down.

  14. #14
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edp773
    The proper thing to do with them would be to throw them in the trask. But that is no fun. Save at least one for Halloween.
    Why would it be proper to add waste to the landfills?
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

  15. #15
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larue
    Why would it be proper to add waste to the landfills?
    It wouldn't of course. Just more stuff that'll never break down.

    Maybe a shuttle can send all of it off to Mars or something.

  16. #16
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I would go for sawing them into 2" chunks then feeding it through my 5 HP wood chipper/hammermill. The gravel sized bits can then be worked into my heavy clay soil to improve it. The last time I burned plastic I got a quick visit and friendly warning from the local Fire Department. The local recycle bin is best fiberglass or not. All that stuff is sorted and the sorters know what stuff can and can not be used.
    This space open

  17. #17
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Finding a good way to re-use the material would be responsible and the thread topic is a good question that often goes unrecognized, but the reality is, over 90% of old helmets just get thrown out and end up in the land fill never to be broken down because of the nature of the material. The product is such that the manafactures have put themselves (and the earth) in a pickle. They want to expand but they have reached ceiling (or plateau) of use so they have ended up re-selling the same product to the same people (who don't need them) and the old products end up going from something that has some use to being useless, destructive waste.

  18. #18
    Cycle Year Round CB HI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by larue
    Why would it be proper to add waste to the landfills?
    Because when they fill the landfill, they plant grass on it and turn it into a park. So, you would be helping create the new park a little faster.

  19. #19
    Senior Member closetbiker's Avatar
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    Ahh...




  20. #20
    Burn-em Upus Icephaltus Gojohnnygo.'s Avatar
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    Hang them upside down in different trees they make perfect birds nest.
    Sick BubbleGum

  21. #21
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    If you throw them away, remove the straps - they make useful belts, luggage/roofrack straps, etc.

    Alternatively, thrown them in the ocean as part of an ocean currents mapping exercise - a bit like the plstic bathroom ducks which are currently in the news over here.

  22. #22
    "Per Ardua ad Surly" nelson249's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by munckee
    How about donating the usable ones to someone who might need them. I know there are a bunch of charities that take in bikes around christmas time.
    I am not sure that any charity wants to be in the position of giving out used helmets. Sounds like bad news to me.
    1997 Mongoose Hilltopper, 1988 Bianchi Specialissima, 2006 Surly Cross-Check, 2010 Norco City Glide, 1947 CCM Single-speed.

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