How to dispose of an old lawn mower safely and responsibly

Man mowing the lawn in front of a house

As technology updates and your old tools become outdated, how to dispose of them responsibly becomes a pressing issue. One such tool is the old lawn mower, which can't simply be tossed in the trash due to its potential environmental impact.

With this in mind, our team of junk removal experts are bringing you some ideas on what to do with an old lawn mower, which balance convenience with both environmental considerations and legal regulations.

Check local regulations

Before you begin the lawn mower disposal process, it's important to understand the regulations and guidelines set by your local government or waste management authorities. These regulations can vary widely depending on your location. Some areas may have specific rules regarding the disposal of large appliances.

Look up your city or county's official website, or contact the local waste management authority to find information about disposal guidelines, collection events, and designated drop-off points. This step ensures you're following the correct procedures according to your local laws.

Some areas might require permits or have restrictions on how you can dispose of certain items. For instance, they might prohibit placing lawn mowers in regular trash pickups or have specific dates for large item collection.

Drain and clean

Before you dispose of your old lawn mower, it's essential to properly clean and drain it to prevent leaks, spills, and contamination during transport and dismantling.

Remove gasoline and oil, which are hazardous materials that can harm the environment if they leak during disposal. You can run the mower until the tank is empty to use up the remaining fuel.

Detach plug wires and take out spark plugs to prevent accidental engine ignition during the disposal process. This step is vital for your safety and for those handling the mower later.

Clear out any debris, grass clippings, and dirt from the mower. Cleaning the mower makes it safer to handle and ensures that contaminants won't be spread during recycling or disposal.

Evaluate for recycling

Lawn mowers consist of various materials that can be recycled, such as metals (steel, aluminum), plastics, and potentially other components such as rubber tires.

Contact recycling centers and find out about their lawn mower policies. Ask about drop-off procedures, whether they may pick up lawn mowers, any requirements for disassembly, and whether they accept both gas-powered and electric mowers.

If the recycling center accepts lawn mowers, they might have specific instructions for preparation. This could include draining any remaining fluids, removing the battery, and separating components such as blades.

Donate or resell lawn mower

Donating or reselling your old lawn mower can be a rewarding way to extend its useful life and reduce waste.

Look for local charities, community organizations, or individuals who might be interested in receiving a used lawn mower. Websites, social media platforms, and community bulletin boards can be helpful resources.

Check out our guide on how to donate houseware and furniture here.

If the mower is in decent condition, you could consider selling it. Platforms such as online classifieds, marketplace websites, or local buy-and-sell groups are great places to list your mower.


Disassembling the lawn mower can aid in separating its components for proper recycling and disposal. However, this step requires caution and some mechanical skills.

Refer to the manufacturer's manual for guidance on disassembly. Manuals often provide step-by-step instructions and safety precautions. If you no longer have the manual, check out an online archive such as Manuals Online to find your mower.

Wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and protective eyewear, when disassembling the mower. Some parts might still have sharp edges or residual fluids.

Use the right tools for disassembly to avoid damaging components. Common tools might include wrenches, pliers, and screwdrivers.

Separate components such as the engine, frame, cutting blade, and plastic parts. Keep metals separate from plastics, as they will likely be recycled differently. Then, organize and store the components safely until you're ready to transport them to the appropriate disposal or recycling facilities.

Reuse parts

Before disposing of your old lawn mower, consider salvaging any parts that are still in good condition and can be used for repairs, replacements, or other projects.

Carefully inspect the various parts of the lawn mower, such as the starter motor, wheels, handles, and other functional components. Store the salvaged parts in a safe and organized manner. Label them if necessary, so you can easily identify and use them in the future.

Reach out to local lawn mower repair shops or DIY enthusiasts who might be interested in purchasing or using the salvaged parts. Consider listing the parts on online marketplaces or platforms that specialize in selling used parts. This can connect you with potential buyers looking for cost-effective solutions.

Electronic waste facilities

If your lawn mower is electric and has a battery, it falls under electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste must be handled properly because it contains hazardous materials.

If your electric lawn mower has a removable battery, detach it according to the manufacturer's instructions. Recycling these batteries helps recover these materials while preventing environmental contamination.

Locate e-waste recycling facilities in your area. These facilities are equipped to handle batteries and other electronic components safely.

Take the battery and any other electronic components to the designated e-waste collection point. Many communities have specific drop-off locations for e-waste.

1-800-GOT-JUNK? team with a lawn mower for pick up in front of a customer

Professional disposal services

In some cases, hiring a professional disposal service might be the most suitable option, especially if you're dealing with hazardous materials or complex disassembly.

Research waste disposal companies that specialize in handling hazardous materials and large appliances such as lawn mowers. At 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, we handle all types of junk, recycling what we can and disposing of the rest safely and responsibly.

Contact the disposal services to understand their offerings, including pickup, transportation, and environmentally responsible disposal methods. When contacting us, you can be sure that we will comply with local regulations and environmental guidelines for proper waste management.

Get rid of your old lawn mower with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

1-800-GOT-JUNK? will take your old lawn mower to be recycled or disposed of with no hassle to you. We know how to get rid of your junk responsibly and safely.

If you need help getting rid of outdated outdoor equipment, such as lawn mowers and trimmers, find your local 1-800-GOT-JUNK? franchise for a free, no-obligation quote.

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