Medela Recycles FAQ

February 19, 2015

Has your breastfeeding journey with your child come to a close? Medela is committed to providing moms with an exceptional experience from start to finish during their breastfeeding journey, and thanks to a group of passionate and thoughtful moms like you, we were inspired to create Medela Recycles, a breast pump recycling program. Medela Recycles is designed to collect breast pumps that will no longer be used and recycle them.

How did Medela Recycles begin?

Jane Davaransky, a mother of two babies taken to the NICU after birth, wanted to make a difference. She started a petition to urge Medela to create an environmentally responsible solution to breast pump disposal. We didn’t just want to meet the request in Jane’s petition, but we wanted to make a change that goes above and beyond – which is why we took it one step further and incorporated hospital-grade Medela Symphony Preemie+ breast pump and breastfeeding supply donations to the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). Not only are we committed to reducing solid waste and helping protect the environment, but we’re also dedicated to providing much needed support to families with babies in the NICU. We are so thankful to Jane and the many moms who supported her petition for helping us implement such a fundamental and essential change.

How does Medela Recycles work?

Medela collects and sends all eligible donated Medela-brand electric breast pumps to a third-party processing center where they are broken down and all recyclable parts are recycled appropriately. Medela does not reuse donated parts for recycling for any manufacturing purposes or refurbish used personal use pumps. For the Medela Recycles program, Medela is asking moms to turn in their used pumps so we can responsibly break down and recycle them.

What parts of the breast pumps are collected to be recycled?

Please send only your breast pump motor unit and carrying bag or motor housing. All other kit components – including connectors, breast shields, tubing, bottles, valves, membranes and cooling elements – can be disposed of in your waste management recycling container at your home. Cooler bags and other soft-goods items are not recyclable.

What types of breast pumps are eligible?

Only Medela electric breast pumps are eligible for the Medela Recycles program. Your pump’s age or condition doesn’t matter. Manual breast pumps, such as the Medela Harmony breast pump, cannot be returned through this program. This product can be recycled in your waste management recycling container at home. If you wish to recycle another breast pump brand, please contact the manufacturer for more information on their disposal options.

Who pays for shipping?

Medela does not cover shipping costs through Medela Recycles. You can choose whichever shipping method works best for you.

How do I get a shipping label?

Medela does not provide a shipping label for recycling breast pumps. A return label is provided to identify the required tracking number and shipping address. You are able to ship directly through the mail service provider of your choice to complete the recycling process.

What is the return label?

Once you complete the recycling process, a return label will immediately display on your screen. This return label provides a unique tracking number and the shipping address. You will need to adhere this return label to your shipping box. You have two options to do this.

  1. Print immediately – Be sure you have connection to a printer.
  2. Print later – You will have an email confirmation after you have completed the process. That email confirmation will include a copy of your return label for printing later.

Note: This label does not cover the cost of shipment.

Can I recycle my pump if I live outside the US?

Medela Recycles is only available to current U.S. residents.

What are Medela Recycles Ambassadors?

We know that for many moms, no longer needing a breast pump means closing the chapter on early motherhood. You may have spent hours or even days pumping precious breast milk for your baby, which is why saying goodbye is easier said than done. Our Medela Recycles Ambassadors started as a way for moms who were eager to share their personal breastfeeding journeys and empower moms everywhere to make a difference. These moms helped us spread the word about Medela Recycles and our work with the Ronald McDonald House. You can read more about their stories here.

Who does the program benefit?

Recycling a pump through the Medela Recycles program means our babies will benefit from a future with less waste! Medela hopes to recycle 12,000 breast pumps through Medela Recycles, supporting our commitment to reducing solid waste and helping protect the environment.

How can I participate?

Send us your Medela-brand electric breast pump to be recycled. Simply visit our website to enter your address and download your shipping label. In a plain, unmarked box, enclose your breast pump with just the shipping label visible on the outside, and ship whichever way is best for you.

30 thoughts on “Medela Recycles FAQ

  1. I find the fact that a recycleable program is offered and Medela, a large company, does not offset the shipping costs a bit ridiculous. I urge Medela to reconsider their stance on this if they truly care about the environment and having less of their products in landfills.

  2. Agreed. I’d love to recycle my pump, but not something I will do when I have to pay for the shipping and the boxes. I’ve ended up with 3 pumps and sadly, they might end up in the trash.

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