How to Recycle Your Vacuum Cleaner

How to Recycle Your Vacuum Cleaner

By Maria Hernandez / September 20, 2021 / 7 Comments

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    If you’re looking for a reason to join the recycling revolution — why not start with your old vacuum? That’s right, Ol’ Dusty in the closet can get a new lease on life, and you could line your pockets with a few extra bucks.

    You may be wondering, why not just throw that old thing out? You could, but, in some areas it’s illegal to dispose of appliances in the trash (it pays to know your local laws).

    If your vacuum cleaner still works — why not donate it? Or if it’s broken, drop it off at a recycling center. It’s the green thing to do.

    If you’re nodding your head in agreement — keep reading, and we’ll tell you how to do it.

    Green Benefits

    We’ve all heard the speeches, read the articles and watched the commercials. But, be honest — recycling is a hassle. So how crucial is it to the environment?


    Let’s start with the facts. As of 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency estimates the United States produces 254 million tons of garbage annually. Of that amount, 87% was deemed recyclable.

    This garbage releases toxic gas and harmful chemicals into the environment. It’s polluting the air we breathe. And it’s wasting energy and valuable resources.

    We can do better.

    But if that’s not enough, recycling creates jobs and boosts economic growth. According to a 2016 study, 757,000 people work in the recycling industry. It’s a big business that generates over 36.6 billion dollars in wages and $6.07 billion in tax revenue.

    In other words, it’s good for the economy. While recycling a multi-purpose or carpet vacuum may not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, every little bit helps. There are ways we can all contribute to the cause.

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    Donation Centers

    You can donate a used multi-purpose or hardwood vacuum, provided it’s clean and in working condition.

    Larger organizations like the Salvation Army and Goodwill will often pick-up donations right from your home. The easiest way to schedule a pick-up is the Donation Town website. This site organizes charity by location and donation type.

    It’s a wonderful way to give back to the community and help those less fortunate. Best of all, it just feels good. And that’s not all, most charities issue tax-deductible receipts you can use as a write-off.

    If you’re looking for a cause closer to home, why not check with your local shelters? Non-profits such as homeless shelters or group homes go through tons of supplies every year. It helps to have additional cleaning tools on-hand.

    Just be sure to call first, as some places don’t accept donations.

    Check with your local thrift store, or place it on the curb with a “free” sign. You might be surprised how quickly it disappears.

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    Recycling Centers

    Due to a large amount of plastic and metal components, vacuums are ideal for recycling. Body housings, cords, and hoses are all re-usable. Recycling companies will melt the plastic and repurpose the material into items such as traffic-cones and shampoo bottles.

    Your local facility may not have the proper equipment, so it’s best to check with them before heading down.

    Additionally, scrap yards may pay for the metal hoses or the copper wiring in the cord. You won’t get much, but it never hurts to have extra pocket-money. Either way, you’ll get rid of that pesky dust-collecting eye-sore.

    There are also online resources for recycling vacuums, like this one. Some vendors will issue credits toward the purchase of a new vac, while others offer cash-back incentives. The catch: you might have to pay the shipping.

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    Sell it for Parts

    If you’re handy and like to tinker, you can break down your Dyson, Shark, or other name-brand vacuum and part it out. Disassembling it might take a while, know what you’re getting yourself into. It might be easier to sell the entire machine — so, weigh your options.

    But, if you’re up for a project — here’s a partial list of re-sellable parts.

    Nozzles, hoses, and brushes are all good candidates for resale. Start by removing and cleaning each item, then bundle them together as a package sale. Attachments are easy to lose and a pain to replace, many buyers would love a second set for under 10 bucks.

    Unopened filter packs and spare belts can fetch anywhere from $5-10. If you have an older model, it may be difficult to find parts. In that case, the belts should sell quickly.

    If the motor assembly works, it may bring in some cash. Online bidding sites typically price these items between $10-$30. Just be sure you know what you’re doing so you don’t injure yourself.

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    How do you dispose of a vacuum cleaner?

    It’s important to realize that not everything needs to be thrown away. Fortunately, a lot of items can be donated or recycled, including your vacuum cleaner. That’s right, no need to throw it away if it’s still useful! 

    Instead of just throwing your old vacuum away, if it still works you can donate it so someone who can’t afford a new vacuum cleaner can use it. If it isn’t in good enough shape to donate, you can recycle it by popping into a local recycling center and handing it over to them.

    What do you do with a dead vacuum cleaner?

    When it comes to a dead vacuum cleaner, there are plenty of options for what you can do with it! First, you can take it apart and sell the parts that are still working to make other appliances or vacuum cleaners. 

    Of course, taking it apart is a job that should be done carefully to prevent damaging the parts that are still working. You could also donate, recycle, or throw away the vacuum. It’s important to note that throwing away your vacuum cleaner isn’t ideal for the environment, so donating it, recycling it, or selling its working parts are ways to be a part of the sustainable movement.

    Where can I throw away my vacuum cleaner?

    With most items in your home you’re probably used to just chucking things you don’t need anymore into your garbage, but when it comes to appliances you really should think of other options such as donating or recycling. In some states it can be illegal to throw away your appliances so it’s important to dispose of them the correct way. 

    We need to take action and help our planet by taking the correct steps when throwing items and appliances away. Also if you recycle or donate you could even get a little cash payback!

    Does Best Buy recycle vacuums?

    Yes, Best Buy does recycle vacuums! This is great news as not only are they doing their part in helping the environment but it will also make it easier for you to do the same. 

    This will help you if you’ve struggled to find a place to donate your vacuum cleaner or can’t find a recycling center. Just call your local Best Buy and find out their procedure so you can recycle your vacuum cleaner without a hassle!

    Final Thoughts

    Whatever your reasons for choosing to recycle, there are options available. Yes, it’s easy to throw it out, but why not consider the alternative.

    Recycling helps others and the environment. It can even put a little cash in your pocket or help at tax time. So before you haul Ol’ Smokey out to the curb, take a few minutes to evaluate the options.

    You never know, your vacuum might be destined for bigger things.

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    About Maria Hernandez

    Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

    Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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    7 thoughts on “How to Recycle Your Vacuum Cleaner”

    1. I would use this to try and keep up with the dog hair from both a black and a yellow lab. Since they are different colors, I have tufts of dog hair that is hard to ignore no matter what surface they are on. I really like the lift-off part. It would be perfect for cleaning off my sofas.

    2. Derek & Rita Rees

      We have 3 Vacuum cleaners we no longer use, and would like to know of a drop off recycle centre near Caldicot NP26 4PP.

      Regards, Derek & Rita Rees

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