How to Recycle a Vacuum Cleaner

Everything you need to know about recycling your vacuum cleaner.

By | December 29, 2019 7:23 pm | Updated August 22, 2020 |
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How to Recycle a Vacuum Cleaner

Recycling your vacuum is a thing. Recycling consists of converting waste into reusable material. This is what recycling means. However, you can also recycle things by donating them, thus, “giving them a different use” for someone else, sell it for parts, or even drop them off in a recycling center.

As to your vacuum cleaner, yes, you can recycle it. This could be a big step in your joining the recycling movement too! If you have an old vacuum getting lonely in your utility closet, it may be time to either give it new life or possibly turn it into some extra dollars.

Are you wondering how to recycle your vacuum? Even if your first thought was to toss it into a garbage container, you can do better than that. Especially since in specific areas, throwing out appliances is illegal. Check your laws, just to be safe.

The green thing to do when your vacuum stops working it to take it to the nearest recycling center. However, if it still works and you got a new one – donate it!

Let’s dive into the options for recycling your vacuum, shall we?

How to Recycle your Old Vacuum Cleaner?

Recycling your vacuum cleaner is pretty simple, actually.

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You can recycle up to 90% of the material used to manufacture electrical appliances. Metal in machines can be recycled to make new metal, while the plastic portions are reused in the manufacturing of products like outdoor furniture, car dashboards, and plant pots.


However, if your vacuum still functions, you can donate it to any local NGO, op shop, or charity. Remember that charities are generally receiving clothing items, so they will be more than appreciative of a working appliance.

You don’t just want to dispose of your vacuum cleaner at the nearest charity bin! You can get fined for this in some cities. In case of donations, you might want to stop at the charity during its open hours and also ask about any other materials they might be in need of.

We will go more into donations detail later on in the post.

In many cases, your vacuum is as dead as a rug and you already have your eyes on a new one. Find any local stores that would trade in an old one. Some stores may even offer discounts if you’re buying a new vacuum cleaner (like hardwood vacuum) and disposing of your old one.

These shops usually accept nonfunctioning machines because they can sell their parts and actually recycle every part of it. This is great for the environment and hey, you’ll be saving some cash.

When recycling your old machine through this system, you are also cooperating with companies looking to take responsibility for the disposal of their items by putting them in recycling programs and collection spots. It may not be a legal responsibility just yet, but it is a moral duty.

For instance, Dyson is a UK based company with a great initiative to pick up and recycle old machines such as vacuum cleaners for their clients at no extra cost. So, if you’re thinking about recycling yours, you can start by searching online or calling the brand’s customer service to check for recycling services.

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Best Ways to Recycle Your Vacuum

Looking for other ways to recycle your old vacuum cleaner? Well, let’s go over them.

1.Donate your Vacuum Cleaner

As mentioned earlier, if your vacuum is clean and still functioning you can donate it. There are great organizations like Goodwill and Salvation Army which will happily pick up your donations from your doorstep as well, make sure you contact them to see this through. A great way to do this is by scheduling through their website.

They will get you organized by donation type and location.

Donating is always a great way to return to your community and lend a helping hand to the less fortunate. It’s a good deed. If it’s taxed you were worried about, most charities will issue a tax-deductible receipt so you can write it off, simply great.

If donating to big organizations is not really your thing and you’re looking to donating to closer people, you can definitely check with local shelters as well as group homes or homeless shelters are in constant need of supplies. Having a good, clean, functioning cleaning tool on hand is definitely a great help.

If you’re interested in this donation type, make sure you give them a call beforehand, as some locations will not accept donations.

You can also try to leave it on the street with a  “free” sign on it. Come back in about 30 minutes and see it disappear. However, in this case, you might not be too sure who ends up taking it and how much they actually need it. It could be a neighbor as well as someone who does need it. This is why donating to NGOs and charities is often the best choice. Unless you have a neighbor you know will appreciate it.

2.Recycling your Vacuum is Green

Doing “green” things is very important nowadays with climate change and the current knowledge about our carbon footprints. And sure, recycling can be a hassle, however, if you think about it, recycling is extremely crucial to the environment.

If we take a look at how much waste the United States produces annually, which is approximately 254 million tons of which only 87% is recyclable. Garbage that cannot be recycled releases harmful, toxic gases and chemicals into the environment and pollutes the air we inhale, as well as waste the valuable resources and energy we count on.

So even if recycling can be a hassle, it’s still very important. Crucial, if you will.

However, that’s not all. Recycling promotes economic growth and creates employment.

There are many people working in the recycling industry, which is a business that generates about 36.6 billion dollars in wages. Pretty neat.

To put it simply, recycling is not only good for the environment, but it’s also great for the economy. And sure, it may not seem like a big deal, re-purposing or recycling your old vacuum, but everything helps. If you contribute to the cause, you’re already doing a huge part.

Are you convinced of recycling your vacuum yet?

3.Recycling Centers for your Vacuum

Vacuums are great to recycle due to the amount of metal and plastic components it has. The hoses, cords, and body housings can be re-used. Plastic and recycling companies can melt it and give the material new purpose to manufacture new objects such as shampoo bottles and traffic-cones.

If you there a recycling facility nearby, make sure you check with them first, in case they don’t count on the equipment to recycle your vacuum. A call beforehand is always best.

Also, scrap yards will often pay for copper wiring and metal hoses. You won’t earn much from it, other than some pocket-money, which never hurts! Good thing is, getting rid of your dust-collecting vacuum is definitely worth it.

And remember, you can always search for ways to get credit toward a new vacuum, like in Best Buy. Other stores might even offer cash-back.

4.Sell your Vacuum for Parts

Do you like to dabble with appliances? Or if you consider yourself to be handy, you can break down your brand vacuum by separating the parts. Liking to take apart objects is crucial for this task as disassembling your vacuum can take its time. If you think this is too much of a hassle, it might just be simpler to sell/recycle the machine.

But which parts can you re-sell? You can basically earn some money for hoses, brushes, nozzles. You can assemble them together and sell them as a package. If you have any spare belts or filter packs that have been unopened, you can probably get somewhere from $5 to $10 for them. For older models, some parts may be difficult to find, in which case, belts should still sell.

Motors that still work? You can sell them for some cash. Some bidding sites online price these in between ten and thirty dollars.

If you’re unassembling your machine, make sure you’re aware of the entire process so as to not harm yourself.

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Final Thoughts

Recycling is great for the environment. With the available options to most of us nowadays, it’s a much easier task. Sure, throwing out your vacuum is much easier, but we can do better. You can definitely consider other alternatives in terms of recycling your vacuum or any other appliance you have at home.

You’re helping the environment and others by recycling. And hey, you can even win some cash and help your tax returns too. So, before you throw your old vacuum out to the street, take a moment to consider the options.


Andrew is the Performance Marketing Manager at The House Wire, covering new articles on home design and DIY projects. He is a seasoned writer with a passion for what he does. His prior experience in content creation makes him excellent at leading The House Wire's team of content creators, editors, and developers.

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