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Recycling Lego

LeeLee ukMember Posts: 138
I don't know about you but I wish lego had some sort of recycling program. And what I mean by this is I wish I could send into lego all my old broken, knackered lego and they send me something nice back. I'm not talking about a set or something, maybe just some special minifig that you can only get through doing this. It must be better than chucking it into the bin to go into landfill ( I wonder how much lego ends up in landfill??) Any way what do you all think about this? 


  • madforLEGOmadforLEGO Chicagoland USMember Posts: 9,549
    I think there is another thread for this (but I think it is very old and I am very lazy to look for it).
    I tend to throw them in the recycling bin. Not sure if they can be, but would rather have them go to a recycling plant first before into a landfill. However, if there was a way LEGO could recycle brick that would be useful. Especially if LEGO would offer coupons toward new sets or part purchases if you provide enough bad brick.

  • LeeLee ukMember Posts: 138
    Coupons would be a great idea! We grind up old tires and use them in playgrounds so there must be a way to use old lego for some purpose like this.
  • DedgeckoDedgecko Seattle, WAMember Posts: 799
    See if any of your friends, family, coworkers have a 3d FDM printer.  If they have a grinder, melter, and extruder they may be able to use it as well.
  • Sethro3Sethro3 United StatesMember Posts: 819
    I wonder once it's done at the factory if they could remelt it down to use again. But since they use other pellets (I don't know exactly how they make everything) it might be difficult for them to do anything with broken LEGO other than throw it away themselves. I agree, a recycling plant is always preferrable.
  • LeeLee ukMember Posts: 138
    The types of plastic lego use have changed over the years so don't think it could be mixed with the newer plastic. I could be wrong though. Using old lego for a 3d printer at home is a great idea. Could a 3d printer make lego????
  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    The exact formulation may have changed, but ABS has been used for most bricks for many years.

    I imagine the biggest problem would be colour and purity.

    TLG use a printer for prototyping, so yes.
  • LeeLee ukMember Posts: 138

    Arnt TLG spending millions developing a new plastic at the moment? Or did I dream that? Think im going to have to get a 3d printer!

  • TigerMothTigerMoth Member Posts: 2,343
    That's (possibly) the future. For the last 50 years, ABS has been king, with polycarbonate for transparent elements - and a few other elements. Having said that, they also use a dozen or more other plastics and ABS itself isn't just a single formulation.
  • BobkovBobkov Member Posts: 31
    Sounds like a great opportunity for some of the 3rd party specialty "Lego-like" shops (brick forge etc): Send them X grams of old bricks of any color, and they press them all into a multi-colored minifig/set of bricks for a small fee, and send it back to you!
  • AllBrickAllBrick UKMember Posts: 1,419
    Take old bits of Lego, add metal loop / hook bits and / or string. Voilà, Lego keyrings and jewellery.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 18,314
    I can't really see anyone offering a recycling service for lego. It is a cheap plastic, with loads of it about from other toys and consumable items. You'd have to sort Lego from other clone brands (some are PE) and even then purity won't be great. Used Lego is dirty and discoloured, so it would need to be cleaned and dyed darker if you want a consistent colour or just used as a dirty brown when mixed up. Maybe it could be used for items where people don't care about colour, such as buckets, but PE is usually used there and is even cheaper. And larger quantities are available through recycling.

    Postage costs for small amounts of Lego would massively outweigh their recyclable value. It would be like posting a single newspaper to a recycling centre and expecting them to send you something in return.
  • SumoLegoSumoLego New YorkMember Posts: 12,574
    ^ Make sure to pack it properly - lots of cellulose packing peanuts.
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