How to Get Rid of Your Lawn Mower: A Guide to Responsible Disposal?

The hum of a lawn mower in your backyard is a familiar summer sound, but what happens when that trusty machine finally gives up the ghost? You’re left with a large, potentially hazardous piece of equipment and a looming question: how do you get rid of it? Fear not, fellow gardener! This comprehensive guide will walk you through the best ways to dispose of your lawn mower, considering both your environmental responsibility and your own peace of mind. We’ll cover everything from recycling options to proper disposal techniques, helping you ensure your lawnmower’s final journey is both safe and eco-friendly.

A Quick Overview of Lawn Mower Disposal

The most common ways to dispose of a lawn mower are:

  • Recycling: Some municipalities offer recycling programs for scrap metal, which can include lawn mowers.
  • Donation: If your mower is still in working condition, consider donating it to a local charity or community garden.
  • Sell: Try selling your mower online or through local classified ads.
  • Disposal at a landfill: This is usually the last resort, as it’s often the least environmentally friendly option.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Lawn Mower’s Condition

Before you start planning your disposal strategy, take a moment to assess the condition of your lawn mower. This will determine your options and inform your next steps.

Is it Still Functional?

  • If your lawn mower is still operational, but you no longer need it, consider selling it or donating it to someone who could use it.
  • There are many online marketplaces and local classified ads where you can sell your used equipment.
  • Donating your lawn mower to a charity or community garden can also give it a new lease on life and support a worthwhile cause.

Is it Damaged Beyond Repair?

  • If your lawn mower is broken and beyond repair, consider recycling it or disposing of it responsibly at a landfill.
  • Before you take your lawn mower to a landfill, check with your local municipality or waste management company for specific guidelines on disposal.

Step 2: Prepare Your Lawn Mower for Disposal

Once you’ve assessed the condition of your lawn mower, it’s time to prepare it for disposal. This may involve some simple steps to ensure both your safety and the safety of others.

Safety First:

  • Remove all flammable fluids: This includes gasoline and oil. You can safely dispose of these fluids at many auto parts stores or waste management facilities.
  • Remove the spark plug: This will prevent the engine from accidentally starting.
  • Remove the battery: If your lawn mower has a battery, detach it and dispose of it properly.
  • Secure loose parts: If there are any sharp edges or loose parts, secure them with tape or remove them entirely.

Additional Steps for Specific Mower Types:

  • Gas-powered lawn mowers: Consider draining the gas tank and disposing of the fuel according to local regulations.
  • Electric lawn mowers: Disconnect the power cord and store it safely.

Step 3: Choose Your Disposal Method

With your lawn mower safely prepared, it’s time to select the most suitable disposal method.

Recycling Options:

  • Many cities and towns offer scrap metal recycling programs. Check with your local government or waste management company for details.
  • Some appliance recycling facilities also accept old lawn mowers.

Landfill Disposal:

  • If recycling isn’t an option, your local landfill may accept lawn mowers.
  • Contact your local waste management company for specific guidelines and fees.

Alternative Disposal Options:

  • E-waste recycling facilities: Some specialized e-waste recycling facilities accept lawn mowers, particularly those with electric motors.
  • Metal scrap yards: If your lawn mower is made primarily of metal, you might find a scrap yard willing to take it.

Step 4: Disposal Logistics

Once you’ve determined your disposal method, it’s time to take care of the logistics.


  • Vehicle: If you’re transporting your lawn mower yourself, ensure it’s secured in your vehicle to prevent accidents.
  • Removal Services: Some waste management companies offer curbside pickup for large items, including lawn mowers.


  • Be aware that some disposal methods, such as landfill disposal, may incur fees.
  • Check with your local waste management company for specific fees and schedules.

Final Thoughts: Responsible Lawn Mower Disposal

Disposing of your old lawn mower doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By following these steps, you can ensure that your disposal is safe, responsible, and environmentally friendly. Remember, every little effort counts in creating a greener world.

Here are some final tips to keep in mind:

  • Always check with your local authorities for the most up-to-date regulations on lawn mower disposal.
  • Consider the environmental impact of your disposal method and choose the most sustainable option.
  • Don’t discard your old lawn mower haphazardly – it could pose a danger to the environment and to others.
  • Be patient and do your research to find the most effective and convenient disposal option for you.

By taking the time to dispose of your lawn mower properly, you can contribute to a cleaner environment and ensure that your machine’s final journey is both responsible and respectful.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the environmental impacts of discarding a lawn mower?

Disposing of a lawn mower improperly can have significant environmental consequences. Firstly, lawn mowers often contain hazardous materials such as lead, mercury, and oil, which can contaminate soil and water sources if not disposed of properly. Secondly, the metal components of lawn mowers take a long time to decompose in landfills, contributing to the problem of waste accumulation.

Thirdly, the manufacturing and disposal of lawn mowers involve energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, further contributing to environmental damage. Responsible disposal practices can mitigate these impacts by ensuring proper recycling or disposal of hazardous components and reducing landfill waste.

Is it better to sell or donate my lawn mower instead of discarding it?

While selling or donating your lawn mower is a great way to extend its life and reduce waste, it’s not always the most feasible option. If your mower is old, damaged, or not in working condition, finding a buyer or recipient may be difficult. Additionally, it can be time-consuming and inconvenient to advertise and arrange for pickup or delivery.

However, if your lawn mower is in good condition, you can try selling it through online platforms like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate it to a local charity or community garden. This can benefit both you and the environment by giving the mower a second life and reducing the need for new production.

What are the different ways to dispose of a lawn mower responsibly?

There are several ways to dispose of a lawn mower responsibly, depending on your location and the condition of the mower. Some options include:

  • Recycling Centers: Many recycling centers accept old lawn mowers for recycling, separating the metal components for reuse.
  • E-Waste Collection Programs: Some communities offer e-waste collection programs that accept lawn mowers and other electronic devices for proper disposal and recycling.
  • Local Solid Waste Management Facilities: Contact your local solid waste management facility to inquire about their procedures for lawn mower disposal, as they may offer specific guidelines or services.

Can I dispose of a lawn mower in my regular trash?

In most cases, you cannot dispose of a lawn mower in your regular trash. Lawn mowers are typically considered bulky items or hazardous waste, depending on your local regulations.

It’s crucial to contact your local solid waste management facility to confirm their specific guidelines for lawn mower disposal. They can inform you about any fees associated with disposal, designated drop-off locations, or any special requirements for handling hazardous components.

What should I do with the oil and gas from my lawn mower before disposal?

Before disposing of your lawn mower, it’s essential to safely remove any oil and gas. Follow these steps:

  1. Drain the gas tank: Empty the gas tank into an approved container and dispose of it according to local regulations.
  2. Drain the oil: Use a drain pan to collect the oil, and dispose of it at a designated oil recycling center.
  3. Clean up spills: Clean up any spills immediately to prevent environmental contamination.

What are the benefits of using a manual lawn mower?

Using a manual lawn mower can offer significant benefits for both your wallet and the environment. Firstly, manual mowers are eco-friendly, as they don’t require gas or electricity, reducing your carbon footprint and eliminating emissions.

Secondly, manual mowers are quieter than gas-powered mowers, which is beneficial for neighbors and your own peace of mind. Lastly, regular physical activity using a manual mower can be a great way to exercise and improve your overall health.

How can I find out about specific regulations and disposal options in my area?

To learn about the specific regulations and disposal options available in your area, contact your local solid waste management facility or visit their website. They can provide information on designated drop-off locations, fees, or any special requirements for handling hazardous components.

Additionally, you can check with your local recycling center or environmental protection agency for further guidance on responsible lawn mower disposal.

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