If your lawn mower is beginning to show its age and isn’t working quite as well as it once did, or if it has begun breaking down entirely, it might be time to finally buy a new one altogether, but before you do that, you need to know how to dispose of your old one since there is a particular process to go through to make sure that it can be recycled correctly.
There’s no point having a beautiful and bright green lawn that looks neat and tidy when you have an old lawn mower rusting away in the corner, so rather than keeping it around as an eye-sore, it never hurts to simply get rid of it, especially since you’re also going to be benefiting the environment by getting it recycled.
If you’re wondering about how to responsibly dispose of a lawn mower, we’ve got a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it right here, along with some information on why you would want to consider getting rid of one in the first place.
Signs That You Should Dispose Of Your Lawn Mower
Most heavy-duty lawn mowers will have an expected lifespan of between 5 to 8 years, depending on how frequently you use them, but the good thing about lawn mowers is they make it extremely easy to know when they are beginning to break down, and when their owner should consider looking for a new one.
These are the biggest giveaways that your current lawn mower is starting to fail:
- If the mower has much lower power and pressure than it did when you first bought it, this signifies that the blades have started to become dull, or the engine or head gasket is beginning to fail.
- A lot of people will run into an issue where their mower only runs for a minute or a few seconds before shutting itself off. This is usually caused by a dirty carburetor that clogs up the air passages. While it can be cleaned, if it continues happening, the carburetor has probably become deficient.
- When the mower is constantly experiencing oil leaks, this is another clear signal that the engine has blown, especially if you also catch smoke coming out from the exhaust.
- When cutting the grass, if you notice that the cuts are coming out unevenly, this is a big sign that the blades are losing their sharpness.
- Strange and peculiar noises coming from a lawn mower could be a result of the engine or exhaust breaking down.
The Correct Way To Dispose Of A Lawn Mower
If you notice any of these issues occurring when you use your lawn mower, it’s probably a good time to start thinking about getting rid of it, especially if it’s no longer performing at its best.
However, because lawn mowers are made up of so many different parts, you will need to take great care when disposing of them, so with that being said, let’s take a look at how you can responsibly recycle a lawn mower that you no longer need.
Step 1) Drain The Fluids
Pouring motor oil or gasoline on the ground or into a storm drain can end up resulting in a hefty fine, so to be on the safe side, you should start off by removing the oil drain plug from your lawn mower and pouring all the liquid into either a metal or plastic container.
Seal up the containers, and take them to your nearest hazardous waste disposal facility which can be found easily online or by contacting your local waste collection service who can guide you in the right direction or might even offer their own pick-up service.
Step 2) Remove Any Rubber Or Plastic Parts
Continue by dismantling any non-metal pieces that can be found on the lawn mower.
This includes the wheels which are connected to the wheel hubs through bolts, wires that connect up to the wire cutter, and rubber plugs which can commonly be found near the engine.
Sometimes, some of the smaller and more stubborn non-metal parts will be stuck to the mower itself.
If you find this is the case when deconstructing your own lawn mower, simply call the scrap metal recycling facility that you intend to go to, and ask if they will still be able to accept the mower with these parts still attached.
Step 3) Visit The Nearest Scrap Metal Recycling Facility
Take what is left of the mower to your nearest scrap metal recycling center, place it in the scrap metal bin, and the folks at the facility will handle the rest.
Keep in mind that some centers will require payment in order to recycle certain objects, so ask about this as soon as you enter, or call beforehand if you want to know exactly how much this will be before you actually get there.
What About Electric Lawn Mowers?
Since they are not gas-powered machines, electric lawn mowers are classed as electrical waste, so you would need to take them to a household waste recycling facility which will safely dismantle and recycle any electrical waste it receives.
Because these centers specialize in disposing of general household items and garden waste, there tend to be a lot more of them around than scrap metal recycling facilities, so in most cases, recycling an electric mower will be a lot easier than gas-powered ones.
Rather than keeping your old lawn mower around to collect dust in an outhouse or basement, do your part for the planet and dispose of it the right way.
Not only is it easy to do, but you won’t even need to travel very far considering just how many scrap metal recycling centers are around these days.
If your lawn mower is completely broken down and you are unable to donate it to a charity organization or sell it through an online marketplace, you will need to strip it down, remove all the liquid, and let the recycling facilities handle the rest.