Don’t be so quick to throw away your vacuum cleaner
You don’t necessarily have to dispose of your vacuum when it’s not working anymore. Recycling your vacuum may be an interesting option.
As per sources, 29 to 31 million vacuum cleaners are sold every year in the United States (1), which makes is a huge quantity of plastic waste. Plus, vacuum cleaners are burnt by the city authorities when found near recycling bins without any notice or indication. Since vacuum cleaners are composed of harmful substances, their waste is hazardous to the environment.
In fact, we found 5 interesting alternative ways to recycle your vacuum cleaner.
If your vacuum cleaner has suddenly given up on you, it could be due to many reasons. The canister may be filled above the max limit, or one of the inner components may be broken.
All vacuum cleaners come with a user’s manual that includes troubleshooting tips. Follow the instructions on the manual and try to fix the vac at home.
If nothing you do seems to be working, contact a professional handyman. First of all, get in touch with the manufacturers of the vacuum – if the warranty is still valid – and ask for their assistance.
Most of the time, they’ll offer a viable solution.
If the warranty is void or the company does not help you, ask a professional to look at your vacuum cleaner. Sometimes, it’s just a minor issue that can be solved in a few hours.
The best place to sell parts of your vacuum cleaner is online. Many people are looking for spare parts for their older models that are no longer available in the market.
For instance, it’s not easy to find a vacuum belt for older models. Even the manufacturers don’t sell them anymore. However, if your vacuum’s belt is in working condition, you can sell it online for a reasonable price.
Don't be surprised
As for the metallic parts, you may recycle them at scrap yards. You can either search for them online or find them near heavy-duty industries. Mostly, scrap yards pay you by the pound. Depending on the size of your vac, you may get a few dollars for it.
However, since scrap yards only take metallic components, you’ll have to recycle the plastic parts elsewhere.
If you’re good at bargaining and getting your money’s worth, you can sell the vac’s components in a second-hand trade market. The products from these markets either go to recycling plants or industries.
The latter then recycle the internal parts of the vac to make new devices. Meanwhile, they use the body or housing to make new plastic items.
Depending on the store, you may be able to give your vacuum cleaner back to the shop you purchased it from. For instance, Best Buy takes all tech products(2) back, regardless of how old they are or the company they’re from.
Besides, some stores may give you a discount voucher for future purchases when you recycle your vacuum cleaner. Look for stores that have an extensive recycling program. They usually offer such perks for bringing back your old machines and appliances.
When recycling a vacuum cleaner, start with those closest to you. Drop a message in your family or friends’ Whatsapp group asking if anyone needs a vacuum cleaner.
Or, you can give it to a relative who doesn’t have one but is in dire need of it.
If no one you know needs a vacuum cleaner, you can donate it to charity. Give it to the Salvation Army or related places where people come to look for cheap appliances.
Alternatively, you can also recycle your vacuum cleaner by giving it to a local orphanage or a senior center. They’re often low on supplies and will appreciate your donation.
If you don’t intend to recuperate the price you paid for the vacuum cleaner, you can also donate it online. For example, Donate Stuff(3) takes all kinds of old things, including vacuum cleaners.
Even better, they pick up the vac from your house, so you don’t need to drive to their office. However, they don’t offer the service all over the United States, so email them for more details.
Likewise, you can donate to YouGiveGoods(4). They have different projects like coat drive, book drive, school supplies, among others. Get in touch with them and ask if they need a vacuum cleaner for any of their ongoing causes.
You can also donate to PickUpPlease(5), an organization with a pickup program to collect items for veterans and their families.
Online sites are practical places for recycling your vacuum since they offer pickups from your home. Some of them may also give you vouchers for their partner stores when you recycle a vacuum cleaner.
You can recycle your vacuum cleaner by reusing the internal components at home. While some parts can be used for school projects, others may be DIY-ed to form household decor items.
Also, your child can recycle the old vacuum as an imitation toy (if not too big and depending on your child’s age). Now, you just need a dollhouse that’s big enough to fit your stick vacuum cleaner.
Disposal may the final decision if the other alternative ways to recycle your vacuum cleaner failed.
Fortunately, most components in your vacuum are recyclable. Every vacuum cleaner comes with plugs, batteries, and filters. Its components can still be used to make plenty of other things like plastic pots and car dashboards. You just need to know where the vacuum disposal stations in your locality are.
So, search for the local recycling centers. Ask them if they take vacuum cleaners. If they do, go to them and drop off the vac at their location.
Recycling centers further sell these machines to industries that use plastic. For instance, industries use vacuum plastic to make everything from traffic cones to shampoo bottles.
Whether you have a cordless stick vacuum or a handheld model, you can recycle your vacuum cleaner once you’re done with it. Remember that when you recycle old devices, you’re not just helping the environment but also yourself.
Now, let me know:
Drop your feedback and recycling ideas in the comments below.