How To Recycle A Vacuum Cleaner

How To Recycle A Vacuum Cleaner

Vacuum cleaners are one of the most popular and most used cleaning tools, and they are very versatile. They usually come with lots of different attachments that enable you to use them on any type of flooring.

Vacuum cleaners are often built with a mixture of plastic and aluminum, which are both non-biodegradable, so what do you do with a worn-out vacuum cleaner that has lived out its years.

Of course, you don’t want to just throw it in the trash. So if you are looking for how to recycle a vacuum cleaner, we’ve got you covered.

How To Recycle A Vacuum Cleaner

Before you attempt to recycle your vacuum cleaner, you want to be sure that it is totally unrepairable. So you want to start by opening up the vacuum and thoroughly cleaning the insides because dust and dirt can totally impair the function of a vacuum cleaner.

If you have a bagged-vacuum, you want to try replacing the old bag with a new one as a full bag can stop some vacuums from working.

You can also check the nozzle or any attachments to see if there’s any form of obstruction or stuck item inside.

Read: How to clean vacuum hose

After doing all this routine check and the vacuum still isn’t working, you can take the vacuum to a professional repairer to get his opinion; if the vacuum can easily be fixed, go ahead and do that, but it can’t, here are some ways you can recycle your vacuum cleaner.

Scrap Yards

If most of the parts of your vacuum are still in good shape, you might be able to get a couple of bucks off your vacuum. You can find scrap yards close to heavy industry headquarters in suburban and urban areas.

All you need to do is carefully disassemble your vacuum and separate the pieces, and depending on the type of metal, you can get anywhere between a few cents to a couple of dollars for a pound.

Better than nothing, right?! Disassembling the vacuum parts isn’t that complicated, and you don’t require any prior knowledge on it to do this.

However, scrap yards only accept metallic parts, so you will need other recycling methods for the plastic parts of the vacuum.

Giving Off Your Vacuum

If your vacuum is still in pristine shape or you just got a new vacuum, and you are looking for ways to do away with the old one (that’s still functional), there’s a couple of ways you can do this;

You can give your vacuum to donation centers or thrift stores so you can help someone in need.

There are different donation centers, like the salvation army or goodwill. Many donation centers even offer pickup services so they can come over to your house and get the vacuum.

You can also take the vacuum cleaner to addiction centers or homeless shelters; not only will you be helping the needy, some donation centers issue tax-deductible receipts.

Read: Best Vacuum Cleaner Review

Swapping Events

This is another way to get a good deal for your vacuum. Sometimes local community fairs host swapping events where you can swap your vacuum with an item with the equivalent value. This way, you get rid of an unwanted item and get a useful and wanted item in return; it’s a win-win.

If there isn’t any swapping event occurring near where you live, you can simply organize one between your friends, family, and other acquaintances.

Selling It Online Or To An Electronic Store

If your vacuum is still fully functional, you can totally sell it off to someone who’s in need of it for a reduced amount of money. The internet is a great advertising tool, and you can use it to run ads to get a potential buyer.

When placing an ad on the internet, you want to make sure to Take several pictures of your vacuum cleaner from different angles to give potential buyers a clear picture of the device so that the potential buyer knows exactly what they are getting.

You want to make sure the area is well lit when taking the pictures, and if the vacuum has various attachments, you will need to include them in the picture.

If you don’t know of the right price to sell your vacuum for, you can go to online platforms like Craigslist, Gumtree, and eBay and check for similar posts so that you can get a price tag idea.

You can also take your vacuum to an electronics store; most of them buy second-hand vacuums that are still fully functional and resell to others. So if you are not internet-savvy or feel like it’s too much work, you can simply take your vacuum cleaner to an electronic store and have a face to face bargain.

Sell Parts Of The Vacuum

This is like the scrap yard method, but this time you will be selling other parts of the vacuum that can continue their life with another vacuum. Attachments like nozzles, brush, carpet gliders, and hoses can be removed from the vacuum and sold.

If you have older vacuum models, their vacuum belts are usually in high demand. Although the money you may get for the attachments won’t be that much, it’s better than nothing.

Recycling Centers           

If you have exhausted all the options above and still don’t have a safe forever home for your vacuum, maybe it’s time to hit the recycling centers. Recycling houses can make use of almost all parts of the vacuum, from Cords, hoses, body housing, and plastic parts, they can all be used.

They will all go into producing other plastic items like a car dashboard, plastic furniture; in fact, you get a new shampoo bottle made out of your old vacuum.

All you need to do is check if your vacuum cleaner is recyclable (90% of them are) then go to a local recycling center.

You will be directed by a staff on-site on which bin to put your vacuum, so don’t worry about knowing where to put your vacuum.

Create Art With It

If you are crafty and love art, you can totally make a beautiful piece of your vacuum. You can empty out the interior of the vacuum and use it as a vase for flowers or storing other objects.

If you have kids who love arts, they can use the vacuum as a canvas and just “go to town” with it.

Importance Of Recycling

There’s lots of different importance of recycling your vacuum and recycling in general.

Reducing Harmful Impact On Our Planet

This is the number one importance of recycling; first, it reduces the amount of pollution that goes into the atmosphere.

Vacuum cleaners that go to the dumpster are usually burnt, and because they contain heavy metals such as copper, iron, or aluminum, toxic fumes are created and sent into the atmosphere, which is very harmful, to say the least.

These compounds are usually carcinogenic, and over time they accumulate in our soil, water, and air. So we basically begin to eat and breathe in these harmful compounds.

Recycling your vacuum also helps to reduce the carbon emissions because a large amount of carbon dioxide is produced during the production of each new vacuum cleaner but using functional parts from old vacuums while reducing the amount of carbon dioxide produced as they will need to produce only a few parts of the vacuum cleaner.

Also, for the environment, recycling helps to save a lot of energy. Parts of vacuum like the metallic parts, saves a lot of energy. The amount of energy that can be saved with your recycled vacuum totally depends on the material used in the vacuum. Just one Kg of recycled plastic can power a vacuum for up to 34 hours.

Reducing The Amount Of Electronic Waste

Electronic waste like vacuum or any other electronic products is being a source of concern because the usage of electronic devices has drastically increased, and these devices are no longer built to last. In the United States, vacuum units have been projected to reach up to 38 million in 2023.

Globally only 20 million of the electronic waste produced goes to recycling. The rest just sits down on the earth or goes into the air. In fact, by 2050, electronic waste is estimated to reach 120 million tons.

Aids The Economy

The economic value of electronic waste is about $62.5 billion annually in the US. And if you think that doesn’t affect you, The recycling industry creates about 757,000 jobs annually and generates almost $7 billion in tax revenue, so that single recycling act goes a long way in contributing to your country’s economic development.

A Little Goes A Long Way

While you may be thinking recycling just a single vacuum cleaner has no significant impact on the environment or economy, it actually does.

In fact, not just recycling but encouraging others to do so will go a long way to impact the environment and economy because the effect of widespread individual efforts creates miracles.


Recycling your vacuum is very important and has a great impact on the environment because the materials that vacuums are made out of are usually non-biodegradable, and you don’t want that just sitting there on the earth polluting it or worse burnt and the toxic fumes incorporated into breathing air.

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