Your lawn mower could have broken, outdated, or no longer works, and you’re stuck on how to dispose of it. Many factors will affect how you dispose of an old lawn mower – like engine oil, type of mower, and local legislation. You want to ensure you get rid of the old equipment without harming the environment.
You can donate or sell off a working old lawn mower to a friend, family, or neighbor. However, dispose of a damaged old mower at a scrap yard, sell as scrap metal, or take it to a recycling center. Drain the oil and gas before disposing of it, and avoid selling a junk mower. Old electric lawnmowers should only be disposed of in recycling centers.
Can I take a lawn mower to the dump?
You can NOT take an old, broken lawn mower to a dump site. A gas-powered mower has harmful residual oils and gasoline, which may leak into the surrounding soil and water, causing pollution. Dangerous fumes from the mower may also escape into the surrounding air and be fatal if you breathe them in.
Another reason to avoid taking a mower to a dumpsite is that the local waste management authority in your area may prohibit disposing of such landscape equipment at a dump site.
The authorities can impose a fee on you if caught dumping a mower on a dumpsite.
How to get rid of an old broken lawn mower
Throwing away an old working or broken lawn mower can be problematic since you can’t just take it to a dump site. There are various safe and recommended ways to dispose of an old mower, and they depend on how much time you have for the task, your location, and whether you want to gain a few bucks from getting rid of it. Keep in mind it might cost you to dump your lawn mower in some cases, a crucial factor worth considering.
Here are different ways to dispose of an old lawn mower:
1. Donate it to charity organizations
If the lawn mower is in perfect working condition and someone can use it, consider donating it to charity organizations or nonprofit organizations near your location. Check online on charitable organizations near you and call them. Afterward, organize on pick up, or you may need to haul it yourself to the organization.
Some organizations provide free pickup services, while others need you to carry the mower to their location. Either way, confirm which method they accept, and make arrangements on the same.
2. Sell it online
If your mower is working and you want to make a few bucks from it, sell it as a second-hand item online. The perfect time to list it for sale online is during Summer or Spring, when most people want to use the mower. Some people may be willing to get it at a lower price when you list it online.
Take a picture of the mower and its specifications and list it in marketplaces online, such as Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, eBay, and Carousell.
Check around those marketplaces to see the pricing trend and use the data to price your mower. If you want to sell the mower quicker, price it lower than other mowers in the marketplace. You can make a quick sale immediately after listing.
3. Donate to friends, family, or a neighbor
Other than donating the mower to charity and nonprofit organizations, a quicker method to donate it is asking around among your friends or family who may want to use the mower. The mower should be in good working condition. Ask your neighbors, too, if they would love the mower.
Make arrangements with the family, friend, or neighbor on how they will pick up the mower. They might come for it from your place or use a truck to take it to them. Either way, you will have the mower out of your way.
4. Call a junk removal service to take the mower away
The easiest method to dispose of a lawn mower is to call a local junk removal service company to come to your place and take it away. If you don’t know any local junk removal service company, search online, and call them.
You may pay for the service, so be sure to confirm with them and make arrangements.
5. Sell the mower as scrap metal
If you are handy with tools, have more time to spend disposing of the mower, and would love to make a few bucks, dismantle the mower’s parts, and sell it as scrap metal to any dealers near your home. Mowers’ components are of plastic, aluminum, and steel.
To disassemble the mower, unscrew the nuts from the bolts holding the wheel hubs to remove the tires. Unscrew the metal parts attached to the handle, and remove the plastics and rubber plugs from the engine and the plastic collection bin.
If you can’t remove the parts yourself, follow step-by-step guides online or Youtube videos on dismantling them.
Here is a video guide for scrapping a lawn mower.
After disassembling the mower, collect all the metals and separate them from the plastics. Carry them to a scrap metal dealer near your location and sell them. They will pay depending on whether the parts are ferrous or non-ferrous. They will take the plastics and place them separately from the metal parts. Also, clean the engine and sell it.
If you don’t have the time and energy to dismantle the mower, take it wholly to a scrap metal dealer. However, you will get less money compared to selling the metals separated from the plastics and engine. But finally, you will have disposed of it.
6. Take the mower to a household hazardous waste recycling center
If you have an old, broken electric mower, you can’t sell it as scrap metal. Electric mowers are grouped with other household electronics. Take it to the hazardous household center and let them handle the disposal.
7. Take the mower to a recycling facility
If the mower is gas-powered, take it to a recycling facility near your location. Before that, confirm if they offer pick-up services and other charges. If they don’t provide pick-up services, hire a delivery service in advance and haul the mower to them.
8. Sell the mower cheaply at yard sales and thrift stores
If you don’t prefer selling the mower online on sites like Facebook or Craiglist, you can try reselling it at yard sales and thrift stores near your home. Such stores are always willing to buy damaged items from people, repair them, and resell them at higher prices.
Caution: Drain the mower before dumping
Before disposing of a gas lawn mower, drain the oils and gasoline from it.
If you don’t know how to drain, call a mechanic to help remove them. Otherwise, drain it yourself. Drainage should be done 24 hours before disposing of the mower.
Here’s how to drain lawn mower oil before dumping:
- Siphon the oil and gasoline from the tank using a hose pipe. Let the oil pour into clean plastic or metal container.
- Remove the oil drain plug and pour the oil into a container.
- Remove the spark plug wire, tilt the mower to the side and let the carburetor face upwards.
- Remove the bolts holding the blades and slide them off the mower.
- Place a can under the mower and remove the reservoir oil plug to drain the oil into the can.
- Seal the container after draining all the oil into it.
- Call a household hazardous waste disposal service to dispose of the used oil. Alternatively, take the used oil to a mechanic repair shop nearby. They always recycle it.
Here is a video guide on how to dispose oil and gas from a lawn mower.
Can lawn mowers be recycled?
You can recycle a lawn mower by taking it to a waste recycling center. Lawnmower parts are made of plastics, aluminum, and steel. These materials are collected, taken to industries, and used to make other types of home equipment.
Does it cost to get rid of a lawn mower?
Getting rid of an old broken lawn mower will cost you money, or you may make money out of it either way.
You may pay for pickup services when taking a mower to a charity or nonprofit organization, as some don’t offer free pickup service. Hauling the mower yourself to the center may cost you money for carrying it on a truck to the place.
If you call a junk removal service company to come and dispose of it, they will charge you money for disposing of it.
Taking the mower to the recycling center will cost you hauling fees, and the recycling center charges you too. When you take the lawn mower to a mechanic to drain the old oil and gasoline on your behalf, the mechanic will charge for drainage services.
If you sell the mower online as a second-hand item, in thrift stores, or take it to a scrap metal dealer, you will make money from your old or broken mower.
The best way to be safe is to budget for the mower disposal if you use any of the above methods incurring a cost. Before any operation, be sure to confirm if the charges are affordable to you.
University of Minnesota Extension: Mowers and mowing safety.