How to dispose of broken exercise equipment

How to dispose of exercise equipment

Did you know that around 61% of people have a home gym or designated workout space? That means a lot of people have exercise equipment of some sort.

This means that you are probably one of them, and at some point you will want to upgrade your gym equipment, or replace broken or worn out pieces. When this happens, it can be tricky to know how to dispose of it responsibly. Luckily, you have the 1-800-GOT-JUNK? team of experts on your side to help you ease this process.

If you’re considering getting rid of an old treadmill or other outdated or broken equipment, there are a few ways to do it. Our guide has some helpful ideas to help you donate, scrap or recycle old exercise equipment. Here’s what to know about why you should dispose of old or broken equipment safely and responsibly, but remember you can always call 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and we will do it all for you.

Getting rid of dumbbells', weights, and resistance bands

Why you should dispose of old exercise equipment safely

It’s unsafe to just throw old equipment in the trash. Here are some things to think about before tossing those old barbells:

  • Environmental impact: Old exercise equipment can contain hazardous materials like lead, mercury, and cadmium, which can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. For example, old treadmills and elliptical machines often contain lead-acid batteries that can leak toxic chemicals into the soil and groundwater if not disposed of properly. By discarding the equipment responsibly, you can help prevent these materials from polluting the soil, air, and water. To learn more about your carbon footprint, check out our carbon footprint blog!
  • Ethical considerations: Reusing or repurposing old exercise equipment can help reduce waste and save resources. By disposing of the equipment responsibly, you can help reduce the amount of waste that goes to landfills and promote a more sustainable lifestyle.
  • Legal obligations: In some jurisdictions, there are laws that require you to dispose of certain types of equipment responsibly. Failing to do so can bring you fines or other legal consequences.
  • Safety concerns: Broken exercise equipment can be dangerous, especially if it has sharp edges or exposed parts. Old exercise equipment can also be hazardous, creating tripping or other injury risks if not disposed of properly. By discarding equipment responsibly, you can help prevent injuries to people who come into contact with it, including waste management workers. 
  • Space constraints: Old or broken exercise equipment can take up valuable space in your home gym. This can discourage you from exercising or can prevent you from using the space for other purposes.
  • User experience: For home users, old or broken exercise equipment can negatively impact your experience. It may not function properly or provide the same level of comfort as newer equipment. That can make exercise less enjoyable and less effective.

Disposing of old exercise equipment responsibly is an important step in protecting the environment, encouraging safety, and promoting a sustainable lifestyle. If you are concerned about the way we deal with the items we pick up, read our article on where junk goes to learn more.

Exercise equipment ready to be disposed of safely

6 ways you can safely discard old or broken workout equipment

When it comes to clearing out unwanted items, it can be hard to know exactly where to start. Here are just a few examples of ways you can safely dispose of your unwanted exercise equipment.

1. Check with your local recycling center 

Before you throw away your broken exercise equipment, check with your local recycling center to see if they accept it. Many recycling centers will take old equipment, including treadmills, ellipticals, and weight machines. They may also have specific instructions on how to prepare the equipment for recycling, such as removing certain parts or draining fluids. Check to see if you can arrange donation pickup for treadmills, ellipticals, or other equipment. Be mindful of the weight of this type of gear and read our guide on how to safely lift heavy items.

2. Consider repurposing 

If you're feeling creative, consider repurposing your broken exercise equipment into something new. For example, you could turn a treadmill into a standing desk or use weight plates as door stops or bookends. The possibilities are endless, and repurposing is a great way to reduce waste and give your old exercise equipment new life.

3. Disassemble the equipment 

If your broken exercise equipment cannot be recycled or donated, disassemble it as much as possible. This will make it easier to dispose of and reduce its overall volume. You may also be able to sell some of the parts or scrap metal. This option can save you space and make it easier to move the equipment around, but if you don’t have the tools or time to do it, remember that when you call us, all you have to do is point and our team will do the rest with a smile on their face!

4. Dispose of exercise equipment properly 

If you choose to do it yourself, once you have disassembled the equipment, dispose of it properly. Some parts may need to be thrown away, while others may need to be taken to a specific recycling center or hazardous waste facility. Check with your local waste management authority to find out how to dispose of each part properly, to ensure you don’t encounter any fines or other issues along the way.

5. Sell or donate exercise equipment if possible 

If your exercise equipment is still in good condition, consider selling it or donating it to someone that could use it. You can try selling it on online marketplaces like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, or you can donate it to a local gym, community center, or nonprofit organization, like Goodwill or other thrift stores. Contact them for exercise equipment donation pickup.

Getting ready to donate old exercise equipment

6. Talk to a professional

Calling us is the easiest and most eco-friendly option. We will pick up whatever you’re discarding from your home, ensure that it is disposed of properly, and recycle the materials.

We at 1-800-GOT-JUNK? can take your old exercise equipment without any hassle for you. We’ll then recycle it responsibly and safely when possible, ensuring it is properly disposed of. All exercise equipment picked up by 1-800-GOT-JUNK? capable of being recycled, reused, or reduced is taken to the proper processing facilities, at no extra cost to you. 

If you are concerned about the cost of removing your unwanted items, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? will do a free no-obligation estimate. Visit our exercise equipment removal page. For more detailed information about pricing visit our pricing page

Dispose of your exercise equipment with 1-800-GOT-JUNK?

1-800-GOT-JUNK? will make recycling easy and safe. We accept a variety of exercise equipment, including:

  • Treadmills
  • Barbells and dumbells
  • Elliptical trainers
  • Free weights or kettlebells
  • Mats, pads and bags
  • Resistance bands and tubing
  • Ski or rowing machines
  • Stair steppers
  • Stationary bicycles

1-800-GOT-JUNK? team ready to dispose of old exercise equipment

To protect yourself from getting injured if you’re going to move or donate this equipment, read our blog post on how to carry heavy items safely. If you would rather leave exercise equipment disposal to the professionals, take a look at our exercise equipment removal page or contact us directly for a free, no-obligation quote.


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