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In the summer months, they provide both young and old with refreshing moments in the cool water. Paddling pools are versatile and can be installed not only in the garden, but also on a terrace, for example, if the spatial conditions are taken into account accordingly.

In principle, a paddling pool should give pleasure for a long time, but especially with the cheaper models, the first signs of wear and tear appear after just one pool season, making them unusable. Then many paddling pool owners and lovers ask how best to dispose of it, or in which category it falls in the sorting of waste.

Is paddling pool disposal really necessary?

First and foremost, however, it is important to clarify whether the pool should actually go into the trash for good. Often, the paddling pool has no defects that can no longer be repaired, but is simply dirty from use by children.

In many cases, a basic cleaning removes the paddling pool from dirt residues, especially urine is not uncommon with smaller children, and can then be used again. Agents for the care of the water, which have a disinfecting effect and therefore effectively combat bacteria as well as fungi, for example, are usually suitable for use when children use the paddling pool because of the lack of chlorine.

Another way to recycle the paddling pool in a useful way, if the cost of repair is too high a financial investment, is to make a handmade bag, for example. Especially in the case of paddling pools to which an emotional value is attached, this measure is sometimes worthwhile.

Dispose of paddling pools correctly

If the cost of a paddling pool repair is too expensive or if you no longer use your pool regularly and cannot find a buyer for it, it is time to dispose of it in an environmentally friendly way. Due to the fact that small as well as large paddling pools differ a bit in this regard, both cases will be dealt with separately in the following sections.

Disposing of small paddling pools

Children’s paddling pools, especially those intended for use by babies and small children, have a very small diameter without being filled with air. Depending on the model, this is sometimes less than one meter. It is due to this fact that you can easily put this type of paddling pool rolled up in the household waste.

If children’s paddling pools are disposed of via the household waste disposal system, however, it is essential to note that they must be classified as residual waste. Under no circumstances should they be put in the so-called “yellow bag” for plastic packaging. Although paddling pools are made of plastic, they are by no means packaging.

Disposing of large paddling pools

There are basically three options for disposing of a large paddling pool. Since it should not be disposed of with household waste, the only option is bulky waste.

Depending on the place of residence or municipality, there are two ways that are typically used in Germany: Either there is a collection of the bulky waste on specified dates directly in front of your door, or there is the need to make an appointment with the respective disposal company for collection.

Furthermore, you are of course free to take the paddling pool to the recycling center, as they are also allowed to destroy it.

Special case: Disposing of pools

In contrast to paddling pools, there are different types of pools and therefore different materials. In addition to the inflatable variants, there are also frame pools, wooden pools or steel wall pools. 

So if you want to dispose of your above ground pool, you should choose a different disposal method depending on the type. 

Inflatable pools can basically be treated like large wading pools.

For the other varieties, on the other hand, you should contact an appropriate disposal company and make an appointment for pickup. Be sure to discuss whether the pool needs to be already disassembled for pickup or if the company can help you dismantle it.

Of course, if you completely dismantle the pool yourself, you can dispose of it yourself and take it to bulky waste.

Delaying paddling pool disposal: 4 tips

A paddling pool that can no longer be used is not a nice experience for either small or large water lovers, especially if there are also many good memories associated with it. Although there are situations where there is no longer any way to prevent its disposal, you can take some measures to delay its early disposal. In the following paragraph, you will find four tips for this, all of which you should take to heart if possible for the best result:

Tip 1: Buy good quality

Right from the start, it is important to be attentive with regard to your future paddling pool. If the pool is made of solid, robust material that is as tear-resistant as possible and has also been excellently crafted into a uniform paddling pool, the chances of long-lasting bathing fun are definitely good.

Tip 2: Treat the paddling pool gently

In order to keep wear marks and thus potential signs of wear as low as possible, it is recommended to handle your paddling pool with care. Special paddling pool pads, which are placed under the pool, protect it from holes caused by roots or stones, for example.

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Tip 3: Clean paddling pool regularly

Despite the fact that material-strong foils in a paddling pool are generally more resistant to everyday wear and tear because they are less likely to become porous, you should regularly clean the paddling pool. Cleaning the pool should be part of your weekly routine.

In the case of obvious stains, it is advisable to remove them immediately. In addition to manual aids such as a sponge, means for the care of the water can also be used here.

Tip 4: Paddling pool repair

Especially with the multi-chamber model of a paddling pool, any damage can be located and repaired promptly. In most cases, the repair requires only the use of an appropriate patch made of PVC film and a suitable adhesive for the material. Often, the purchase of a paddling pool already includes a first set for repair.

If you do not have a paddling pool-specific repair kit at hand, you can also use a patching kit for any conventional bicycle to patch smaller holes, for example. With any approach, it is essential to let the paddling pool dry for at least 24 hours before refilling it with water.

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Small and large wading pools contribute to the fun as well as refreshment of many people in the hot summer months. So that the pool does not have to be disposed of after the first bathing season, one should already attach importance to high-quality materials and a quality-oriented processing of the same at the time of purchase.

Furthermore, regular cleaning, steps taken to protect the respective materials and the willingness to repair the paddling pool yourself if necessary will considerably extend its service life.

However, if the case arises that a repair of the paddling pool is no longer profitable, the idea is worthwhile, especially in the case of sentimentally charged items, to convert them into a handmade bag or similar. However, if you decide to dispose of them, it should be noted that paddling pools for toddlers or babies may be placed in household waste, but they should be declared as residual waste.

In contrast, larger paddling pools should either be disposed of as bulky waste in accordance with local customs or taken directly to the nearest recycling center.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.