What to do with waste?

Anyone to share what they do with their 3D print waste? Between a handful of failed printers, some support material, purge poop, and the left over from calibration, I’m starting to amass a small bit of waste. Granted, it’s mostly very light weight so I’m sure it doesn’t amount to a whole lot, but I’d still like to start planning on how to deal with it.

I know there are some devices out there for shredding and then re-extruding the waste into usable filament, but in my brief searching the prices for the equipment where huge… like in the multiple thousands of dollars. I’d have to recycle a LOT of waste before that makes sense financially.

So unless there’s a much cheaper option I didn’t find I guess I’m looking at recycling options. But I’m unaware if PLA recycling is common or if I have to find some specialty place to do it.

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I have no idea if this would work but maybe you could stack the purge poop into a shape and melt it together with a heat gun.


Depending on location you may be able to find some filament manufacturers who have recycling programs.
Fusion Filaments in the US has one. You send in your waste and they can re-extrude into recycled spools to resell.
Do a search for recycled filament and see if they have customer programs for the recycling.

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What I was planning on doing is keeping the blocks and filament types separated by print job till spring, plan on getting a used toaster oven and making a vent over it out the window just in case of things go south melting the material to its respective temps on a flat form then take it over to the desktop CNC and resurface both sides reusing what was cut again, to have colorful flat panels or for simple projects like a mini PC case, mini tabletop game boards like checkers, trouble or your version of snakes and ladders, dominoes, etc. I was even considering holding on to the waste as sometimes my area gets requests for donating materials for schools with their STEM programs. if I had a lathe I would turn resin-filled vases with the poop and sell them. At least, you can say they will be unique. every time


What about units like Wellzoom or Evo? Depending on the amount of colored prints planned, are they to be considered?

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I suppose if your grind up the poop finely enough and of course don’t mind the colors mixing, solutions like this would work. But that would probably only be financially viable if you’re printing a lot of multicolor prints.

It’s not just the purge poop, but the left overs from calibration and some failed prints… all in all it doesn’t add up to that much… but if there was a economical way to turn this back into filament for times that I’m “prototyping” something or printing something that I just don’t care what it looks like color-wise, then it would be nice to be able to reuse it.

That said some of even the cheaper options out there appear to be hit-or-miss in terms of how well the new filament comes out. Given that, the cost involved, and my general lack of desire to spend hours babysitting something for minimal return I’m shying away from reusing. I’m still having a bugger of time finding a local PLA recycler though, which is sad. I’d really rather not throw the waste in the trash.


There are several recycling companies out there. In Germany there is at least one active and some others are starting this business soon.
I think in many other countries this will also pop out soon.

I am cellecting my poop and unused ptototypes, etc. material sortet (but not color).

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We use it as drainage layer in planted pots … We used to use pebbles but now we got so much of the waste that we don’t have to buy any pebbles (anymore). Works brilliantly. Handful in bottom of planter, pot on top - et voila … drainage layer.


How does the recycling company know that your waste material is one single material, let’s say PLA. If there is 95% PLA , but also 5% PETG in the mix, that would be disastrous. Every mix of materials would probably render the resulting filament useless.

How much waste do you have? I’m working with the local government to set up a 3D printer melt/respool/reuse program because our library maker spaces dump SO MUCH plastic in failed prints, so if you’re in the US (and you know what type of plastic it is) I can see if I have storage for it.

Or even the same color? Can they bleach the color out?

EDIT: Now that I think about it the recycling can I roll to the street has many different materials and colors.

Use it as drainage layer in planters.

The same way recycling companies manage recycling plastic that is 1000x in magnitudes of contamination.

They sift, dredge, melt and pull slag, separate via chemical washes, refectories etc.

A little PETG every now and then is far easier than say, a landfill of plastic, metal, refuse, and things like biological, chemical or radiation related.