DEXCOM G6 waste

Thanks for this conversation. I’m also disturbed by the waste involved in using all this fabulous technology, especially the G6 applicator.
I was told it’s not recyclable due to the metal in it. But even if it is in some places, we have very few plastics we can recycle where I live (Maui), and this isn’t one of them.

That applicator seems like it could have been made a reusable part, with just the sensor being inserted each time. Lower cost and less waste…but I’m not an engineer :blush:. I love the new and innovative diabetes technology, but do hope they’ll factor environmental impacts into the process!


I don’t think that the Dexcom sensor applicator devices can be recycled. They are a mixture of different types of plastic and metal components. These cannot be separated at the recycling center since the device is a bit too sophisticated for that. The recycling center will just dump it into a landfill…

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This is the attitude I try to take. I’ve reduced my own personal use of single-use plastic as much as I can. The major problem now is products that I buy that are packaged in plastic. In some cases I can move to another brand that doesn’t use plastic, if I can find one. I’ve even contacted companies to tell them I’ve stopped using their product but will return if they change their packaging (like toilet paper companies who use layers or plastic, or a company who packaged their cookies in individual plastic packets within the box).

Of course, we don’t have that option with diabetes and other conditions. I do think it’s important that we communicate to companies that we would like to reduce diabetes waste. Otherwise, companies are not going to care or change, at least not unless they’re forced to by legislation.

Simple things that could be done are recyclable test strip containers (maybe make the desiccant packet snap out so you can recycle the actual plastic), packaging that is recyclable (a lot of packaging is not), and producing more re-usable products instead of single-use ones (reusable pens, reusable inserters, reusable portions for patch/pod pumps). This could be applied to conditions beyond diabetes, too.


Many towns around me have stopped recycling. No one is buying it. I too am very conscious of plastic usage also. I cannot do without my meds,etc. Nancy50


I am horrified by how large it is as well. I’m not sure how this will fit in my purse when I eventually have to switch to it. It is a bad design. I don’t know if it will be recycled near me, they have changed the policies again. I will find out.


I’m really lucky to live in a province that funds its own recycling program, which includes not only collecting materials and running depots but also recycling the material within the province rather than sending it elsewhere. So we’re one of the few places (maybe the only place?) in North America not being affected by the recent recycling problems.

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Since the Dexcom sensor applicator is a jumble of mixed plastic and metal parts, the recycling companies will send them to a landfill since they don’t have the capability to separate the plastic from the metal.

This is what happens on EVERYTHING that you put into a mixed-recycling bin. The contents of the bins is taken to a separating warehouse. Anything that isn’t easily separate-able into “pure plastic”, “pure paper”, and “pure metal” is sent to a landfill, just like your trash is…

Thus, when recycling, you should try to remove labels from metal cans and plastic containers etc…


Haha! I can see me doing that. NOT!

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So if you have any tin cans, make sure you remove the tin from the steel and if it is an imported can, Europe still uses lead soldering on some of the seams so make sure you also remove the lead. - Good Luck!!!:confounded:


I wish that I could even get the G6, they are not giving it to Medicare patients. I need it as I am on chemo and sleep 12 to 14 hours a day.
Les H

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Hi Les

I am also on Medicare and the G6 is not yet available to us, and we may be quite lucky as the kinks don’t seem to have been quite worked out of the G6 and if you read through G6 posts, you will find a lot of love/hate relationships with the G6 as patients fight through the sensor and other glitches.

In the meantime, G5 is what is available to Medicare patients and the G5 is pretty bulletproof, not perfect but pretty good. Dexcom is going through some growing pains right now but appear to be improving a little every week, especially for G5 patients.


I think you’d cringe if you saw what I put into the recycle bin. LOL! I’m wondering when we are going to be told that recycling is over (China rejecting recycled materials now). I’m sure the city would love to charge us for a much larger trash container. I use the smaller one and put everything I can get away with into the recycle container. Only once or twice in a couple of decades have I had my container slapped with a notice that I’d put in something I shouldn’t have. given that, I don’t worry much about what I put in there. I rinse cans (but not scrub them perfectly clean) so that they don’t smell when sitting under the sink for a while–not to appease the recycle police.

I bet my recycle bin looks like yours.

I rinse enough food off so we don’t get the dreaded fruit fly invasion. Past that and it very quickly becomes not my problem.

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That’s the San Jose mentality. If they give us unlimited recycling and make us pay for extra trash, then we’re going to recycle everything that’s vaguely recyclable. It must be a nightmare for the local recycling center as everyone I know just dumps everything in the recycling bin and figures it will get sorted out later, but policy affects behavior for sure.

I thought we weren’t great at recycling, but then I went to the museum of clean in pocatello, Idaho (which is absolutely fantastic; if you’re in southeast Idaho, its definitely worth a small detour), he told us that as Californians we probably used less trash than idahoans(?), because of recycling policies. How much of that is actually recycled, God only knows.

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IF the amount of actual recycling was more widely known, those who are adamant about recycling would freak. I’ve read plenty of news stories about how little is actually recycled. It’s too difficult too separate, it’s too expensive, there’s no market for it…

Think of this as job protection for the recycle workers.

Not if they get $15/hour. Then there will be layoffs and reduced hours. :slight_smile:

One of the most difficult things to get rid of here are fluorescent tubes. It’s rare that any recycle program will take them. they’ll take a long list of other things; but not the tubes. I have a bunch of them taped together in 2 bundles, hoping for the day when I hear that someone will take them.

They take fluorescent tubes at our local Lowe’s. It’s limited to ten per drop-off.

I had a dozen fixtures that would ruin tubes in less than a year. I’m sure I went through over 3 dozen tubes. Eventually, I replaced those fixtures, and some time later I switched to LED tube lights. I LOVE those LED shop lights. Great color, quiet, cooler, and more dependable.