5 Best Ways to Recycle a Vacuum Cleaner

Don’t be so quick to throw away your vacuum cleaner

By | Updated October 13, 2020 |
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5 Best Ways to Recycle a Vacuum Cleaner

Before disposing of your vacuum, ask yourself if you can do something better with it. Yes, your old vacuum shouldn’t have to sit in a landfill like heaps of plastic. Instead, you can recycle or donate it to someone who might need it more than you do.

Most vacuums have a lifespan of up to 10 years. But you might just get bored in a few years and decide to drop it in the recycling bin. Before you do that, let me tell you something that will make you more conscious of how you dispose of your vacs.

Do you know that vacuum cleaner waste is part of the e-waste, which is the fastest-growing waste type(1) today? That’s alarming, to say the least.

Most 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 for the environment.

Currently, the United States market for vacuum cleaners stands at $4,374 million (2) and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.5%.


As per sources, 29 to 31 million vacuum cleaners are sold every year in the United States. Imagine all of this waste going back to the Earth in a few years.

Keeping these statistics in mind, recycling your vacuum is no longer a choice but a moral obligation. By recycling your vacuum cleaner, you’re doing the Earth and the future generations a favor.

Here are a few ways to recycle your vacuum cleaner.

Table of Contents


Just because your vacuum has stopped working does not mean you give it away. Instead, try repairing it at home or go to a professional handyman.

1.Repair it Yourself

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.

2.Professional Repairing

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.

In that case, you’re lucky because your vac will be usable again.


Fortunately, most components in your vacuum are recyclable. Every vacuum cleaner comes with plugs, batteries, and filters. Thus, it’s very rare for vacs to be among non-recyclable devices.

If your vac is damaged beyond repair, worry not.

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.

1.Recycling Centers

Don’t simply put your old or unwanted vacuum cleaner on the curb by the recycling bin. Instead, search for the local recycling centers. Ask them if they take vacuum cleaners.

If they do, go to them and personally 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.

Do not throw away the battery of your old vacuum cleaner. It may have stopped working, but the battery still contains lead, nickel, cadmium, and other metal hydrides.

Along with being harmful to the planet, these chemicals are also toxic (3) to people who come in contact with them. Therefore, it’s crucial to drop off the vac at the recycling center rather than placing it by the bin where anyone can touch it and put themselves in harm’s way.


Sell It

If your vac still works and you’re giving it away because you’re moving or just don’t want it anymore, you can make some money out of it. You can sell the following parts if they still work and are in good condition:

1.Sell Online

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. For standard accessories, like the crevice tool, don’t expect to get a lot of money.

2.Scrap Yards

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. It’s not a lot, but it can pay for a doughnut on your way back home.

However, scrap yards typically only take metallic components. You’ll have to recycle the plastic parts elsewhere. Don’t throw them away since they’re not biodegradable.

You’d have to disassemble the vac before bringing it to the scrapyard, as they only need the metal parts. Again, be careful when handling the battery.


3.Second-hand Trade Market

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. Like scrap yards, don’t’ expect to get a hundred bucks from your trade, but at least, it’s better than getting nothing.

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.

4.Electric Stores

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(4) 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 old vacuum. Look for stores that have an extensive recycling program. They usually offer such perks for bringing back your old machines and appliances.

What’s better than putting a smile on someone’s face? If your vacuum cleaner still works and you don’t need it anymore, recycle it by donating to someone who does. They may be able to get more use out of it than you ever did.

1.Friends or Family

When recycling a vacuum, 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. Apart from preventing another vacuum from being dumped into the landfills, you’re doing a good deed by helping someone in need.


If no one you know needs a vacuum cleaner, 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 vac by giving it to a local orphanage or a senior center. They’re often low on supplies and will appreciate your donation.

3.Donate Online

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(5) 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(6). 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(7), an organization with a pickup program to collect items for veterans and their families.

Online sites are an incredible place for recycling your older vacs since they offer pickups from your home. Some of them may also give you vouchers for their partner stores when you recycle a vac.


Finally, 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. Now, you just need a dollhouse that’s big enough to fit your stick vacuum cleaner.

Final Words

Even if you don’t keep up with the news, you’d still know that climate change is occurring at a drastic rate right now. Today, recycling is more important than ever, and we all need to play a role in it.

Whether you have a cordless stick vacuum or a handheld model, recycle your device once you’re done with it. In this guide, I’ve discussed different ways of recycling your old or unwanted vacuum.

Remember that when you recycle old devices, you’re not just helping the environment but also yourself. Now, it’s time for you to head over to the recycling station and let me know:

Drop your feedback and recycling ideas in the comments below.


As the Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jeneva oversees the testing, reviewing, and posting of content about products for the home by The House Wire. Armed with six years of combined experience in SEO analysis and Internet Business consulting, she helps people navigate proper cleaning and home decoration. Through the creation of stimulating and enlightening resources about the best products, The House Wire helps everyone achieve their dream home.

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