October 22, 2008
When I was growing up I would sometimes watch my father shave in the morning. I was fascinated by the soap and the brush he used to lather his face. As I got older I discovered that the back of the medicine cabinet had a slot in it, labeled "used blades," or something similar. As he replaced old blades for new, the old blade was deposited through the slot in the cabinet. I asked him once where the blades went. "Just into the space between the studs," was his answer.
If a blade lasted for a week, he'd have deposited 52 blades each year into the stud space behind the bathroom wall. I don't know when he switched to cartridge style razors, but I imagine he dropped doubled edged blades into that slot for 15 or 20 years before switching. Which means there are approximately 800 ~ 1000 razor blades in that cavity of the house. And there are similar caches of spent razor blades in houses all over the nation.
The house Sibylle and I live in now hasn't got a medicine cabinet, there is no slot for me to use for quick and easy disposal of a too-dull-to-shave-effectively but still too-sharp-for-easy-handling blade. I'll have to get a small jar or something to collect them in so they can be disposed of safely.