How to Dispose of Old Vacuum Cleaner? 7 Ways for Zero Waste!

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By CleanersWithLove

No matter the brand or model, vacuums will eventually give in. And when the time comes to part ways with an old vacuum, few know where to start. Don’t just throw away the tiny appliance, as not only is it wasteful, but it is also dangerous to the environment! So, learn how to dispose of old vacuum cleaner the right way!

Read on to see the best ways to dispose of your vacuum.

Why You Should Dispose of Your Vacuum Cleaner Properly

vacuum cleaner on top of a blue carpet

When you dispose of your vacuum cleaners the right way, here are some of the benefits you’ll be able to enjoy: 

✅ Reduce (Electronic Waste) E-Waste

E-waste consists of broken or discarded electronic products, including vacuums! And since these appliances have a short life span, they’ve become a challenge to many. 

In recent years, the consumption of electronic products per household has skyrocketed. Experts estimate the vacuum cleaner market to reach over $20.5 billion worldwide by 2024. And with this comes tons of e-waste, where a meager 20% only gets recycled globally.

By repurposing your old vacuums, you’re contributing to reducing e-waste worldwide! So, be responsible, manage your e-waste well, and recycle as much as possible. If not, expect over 120 million tons of electronic waste by 2050.

✅ Contribute to Keeping the Planet Clean

Although vacuums are non-biodegradable, over 90% of these small appliances are recyclable! Recycling plants can melt metal components for making new parts or appliances. And they can also reuse plastic parts for plant pots, furniture, or car dashboards.

Depolluting Our Surroundings 

When you dispose of your vacuums with regular garbage, they’ll likely get burnt. And though convenient, they can emit dangerous toxic fumes to our surroundings. After all, vacuums have heavy metals like iron and copper. Over time, these hazardous fumes can accumulate in our water, soil, and biosphere. 

As a result, carcinogenic compounds mix in the air!

Decreasing CO2 Emissions

Manufacturing new vacuums emit a massive amount of CO2, harming our environment. By disposing of your old vacuums correctly, you help reduce your carbon dioxide emissions.

After all, utilizing existing resources from old appliances requires less output. With this, they can have a shorter and more straightforward manufacturing process than building everything from scratch.

Becoming More Energy Efficient

Disposing of your old vacuums the right way helps you save a lot of energy. 1 kg of recycled plastic parts can power most vacuums for over 24 hours. Meanwhile, the metal parts help you save more, whereas steel and iron alone represent over 72% of energy savings.

✅ Improve Economic Advantages

E-waste’s economic value equates to $62 billion yearly, which is more than most nations’ GDP. Disposing of your vacuum correctly helps you contribute to your country’s economic growth. And though this may not seem essential, it can impact your everyday life. 

The recycling sector provides over 600,000 jobs annually, generating nearly $5 billion in tax revenue.

How to Dispose of Old Vacuum Cleaner?

how to dispose of old vacuum cleaner (infographic)

♻️ Drop Your Vacuum Off at a Recycling Center

Although vacuums are non-biodegradable, over 90% of them are recyclable. And these include the cords, hoses, body, and plastic parts. 

Most manufacturers create shampoo bottles and traffic cones from recycled vacuum parts. So, it’s easy to see why bringing vacuums to a recycling center has been the go-to for many people. They’ll do the nitty and gritty for you, helping you get the most out of the old small appliance.

You can go to any recycling center of your choice. Either way, all you must do is drop off the home appliance at their designated branches.

You can always ask the onsite staff if you’re unaware of which recycling bin to place your old vacuums in.

But beware, some recycling plants have limitations on what and how much they can receive. So, check with their staff or visit their official website to see if they accept old or broken vacuums.

♻️ Bring it to the Closest Appliance Store

Many electronic or specific brand stores offer recycling options to consumers. They do this to improve our environment, making it greener and cleaner.

Some electronic stores offer credit whenever they take your old devices or appliances. You can save time by contacting these establishments and confirming if they provide them. As a result, you can drop off your vacuums and have them recycled, all while earning something in return. 

But even if the stores don’t offer credits or other rewards, it saves you time and effort in disposing of your old vacuum.

♻️ Sell the Parts

If some components of your vacuum still function, even if the appliance itself isn’t, sell them. Parts like the brush, nozzle, and hose are removable and safe to wash, and you can sell them individually. Although you won’t earn a lot, it’s still an excellent way to dispose of your vacuums, helping you recycle and maintain zero waste!

There are other parts you can sell, like the belts, but these are common in older models, which are challenging to find. But these are often in high demand, so you should be able to get more than the other parts mentioned earlier.

♻️ Sell Or Give Away Old Vacuums Online

If your old vacuum cleaner is still repairable, why not profit from the disposal? Fix what needs to be addressed, sell the functional appliance, or give it away. After all, there will always be someone in need who can use the device.

Whether you’re looking to sell your old vacuums or give them away, the internet is the best place! It’s an excellent channel for advertising the sale or giveaways.

Either way, take multiple quality photos of your vacuum from different angles. After all, people tend to be nitpicky with their appliances, so be preemptive and capture everything!

Search posts advertising the same models if you can’t settle for a price for your vacuums. You can start with popular channels like Craiglist or eBay. But if you’re looking to give away your vacuums for free, you can go to the Facebook Marketplace of Freecycle.

However, you can save time and effort by giving the appliance away to your family, friend, or neighbor.

♻️ Give Your Old Vacuum to Scrap Yards

Some scrapyards offer prices to take certain parts of your vacuum. Generally, metal components sell for the most as they’re more flexible than plastic. But the best part about giving your vacuums to a scrapyard is that they’re easy to find! You should spot a scrapyard near any commercial area in the suburbs or urban areas.

But remember, not all scrapyards pay for these parts, and some may only receive certain parts. So, you’ll still need to look for other ways to dispose of the remaining parts of your vacuums.

I recommend asking the scrapyard beforehand to avoid wasting your time and effort in disassembling and reassembling just to get certain parts out.

♻️ Donate Old Vacuum Cleaner to a Donation Center or Homeless Shelter

If you have a vacuum in working condition and don’t want to sell it, what better way to dispose of it than donating it? But before doing that, guarantee it’s in excellent condition! After all, a broken vacuum is no better than the junk from the scrapyard.

If there’s no donation center or thrift store within your 

vicinity, try donating the small appliance to a homeless shelter. Some organizations, like the Salvation Army, may also pick up the device from your spot. 

If not, you can avail for Donation Town. It’s a company that can collect the donated appliance and delivers it to your preferred donation center for free.

♻️ Attend Swapping Events and Have it Swapped

If you can’t find someone who buys old vacuum cleaners, swap them off. Many towns hold local swapping events that promote recycling as a collective habit in communities. And you’ll often see these held in community centers, schools, or libraries. 

If these swap events don’t happen, you can organize the first in your area. Not only will this help you dispose of your old vacuums, but it’ll also help your community! 

So, arrange flyers, spread the word, and ask for help from your family, friends, and acquaintances to make this swap event happen. 

Additional Tips to Make Your Old Vacuum Cleaner Last Longer

vacuum cleaner on top of a carpet besides a pair of shoes

Get the most out of your old vacuums and follow these tips to make them last beyond their years! 

✔️ Regularly Check and Change the Vacuum’s Filters 

Filters in vacuum cleaners can get blocked fast, especially if you have hairy pets like cats or dogs. So, keep your old vacuum pristine by removing the filters and brushing or dusting them often. Do this until it’s free from dust particles or sucks in debris better. 

Meanwhile, if the small appliance has washable filters, wash them at least once a month. And only replace them if they’ve become worn or damaged.

✔️ Spot Blockages and Unclog Them ASAP

If your vacuum isn’t sucking well or seems to have lost its power, it might have a blockage. Even the tiniest clog can negatively impact the appliance’s performance and strain its motor over time.

So, if you suspect a blockage, remove the vacuum’s hose, and if possible, take apart the sections to check. Inspect the head for clogs and the unit where the hose connects to the appliance’s body. After all, things like tangled hair can sometimes get stuck between these bends.

✔️ Practice General Care

To keep your vacuum’s outer casing clean, you need to keep it pristine. Wiping it with a damp cloth should be enough, but you can also use a steam mop to guarantee it’s 100% spotless. Either way, never bend or compress its hose or lift the body when storing the small appliance. 

Aside from that, remember to keep its cord coiled and retracted on the provided hooks when not in use. Finally, don’t forget to check the vacuum’s belt and roller brush often. These are prone to hair and thread entanglement, so cut them up ASAP when you spot any clog!

✔️ Check the Cords for Damage

Finally, always check your vacuum’s electrical cord for damage. Remember to be gentle when pulling the electrical cord, as excess force can damage it.

✔️ Change or Clean the Bag Often

If your vacuum is your go-to carpet cleaner, it likely fills up fast and often. Avoid overfilling the canister bag by changing or cleaning it after each use. But if not possible, double-check the canister and empty it when it’s close to full. 

Meanwhile, if you have disposable bags, never throw them away and reuse them. After all, most of these are made of fabric or canister, which is reusable and easy to wash!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is it possible to repurpose an old Dyson vacuum cleaner?

A: If your old Dyson has served its purpose, you can have it recycled at the nearest Dyson store. All you need to do is give the small appliance to the staff, and they’ll repurpose it for you. Dyson participates in the Distributor Take-Back Scheme. It’s where retailers fund organizations or facilities for collecting electrical equipment waste.

Q: How long should I keep my vacuum?

A: Generally, vacuum cleaners, no matter the model, can last up to 8 years or more. And it’s best to keep the small appliance until it breaks down. But before disposing of your vacuum, confirm the issue isn’t a damaged belt or anything reparable. In short, as long as your vacuum is still working, keep it by your side. 

Q: What can occur to my old vacuum if I don’t clean it well?

A: If you don’t clean your vacuum often, it’ll rack up a ton of dirt and other particles, rendering it useless. And as your vacuum cleaner gets clogged, expect more dust and debris to settle into your carpets. For short, the vacuum won’t be able to clean and pick up dirt particles well.

Q: What can happen to vacuum cleaners when they get wet?

A: You can break your vacuum cleaner if you don’t dry it ASAP. Using it wet can damage the motor, increasing the risk of electrocution and making a massive mess! So unless the small appliance states it’s rated for water, never vacuum while it’s wet.

Q: How frequently should I empty my old vacuum cleaner?

A: It’s best to empty your vacuum every time you use it or at least dispose of its content once it’s half or 2/3s full. Either way, never let its canister fill up, as it can damage the small appliance, breaking it over time.

Final Words

How to dispose of old vacuum cleaner? Whether bringing a broken vacuum cleaner to a recycling center or selling it online, these are all viable ways to dispose of an old vacuum. No matter the model or brand, recycling your old vacuums is the best way to dispose of them. After all, they’re non-biodegradable appliances, causing harm to our surroundings when thrown out.

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