Homesteading, Gardening, and Off-Grid Living

How to Dispose of an Old Lawn Mower: 12 Options

By: Zac Friedman

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The best way to get rid of your old lawn mower depends on whether or not it’s working, the type of lawn mower (gas, electric, riding, or push), and how much time and effort you want to put in. This guide outlines 12 ways to get rid of an old lawn mower. 

It’s usually pretty easy to get ride of an old lawn mower. You could recycle it, sell it for scrap, haul it to your nearest garbage disposal center, or call a junk removal service to pick it up. If it still works, you could sell it, donate it, or trade it for a new one. You may also be able to repair or repurpose it instead. 

How to Get Rid of an Old Lawn Mower

1. Recycle Your Old Mower

If your old lawnmower is no longer in working condition, an environmentally friendly way to get rid of it is to recycle it. Some recycling centers accept lawn mowers and others don’t. You may have to do some research online or ask your local waste management facility. 

You will need to prep your mower for recycling. Different facilities have different requirements. There are also different requirements for gas, electric, and riding mowers. 

A lawn mower

For an electric mower, recycling is often the only way to get rid of it. Recycling centers are often the only places that will deal with the battery and other electronic waste.

For gas mowers and riding mowers, you will need to drain the gas and oil. Sometimes, you may be asked to remove the whole engine. It is processed separately from the rest of the mower. You may also need to remove any plastic parts and separate them from the metal. Non-metal pieces, like the plastic housing, usually can’t be recycled. 

Some local recycling facilities will help you remove the motor. Some facilities will accept the mower the way it is. You’ll have to ask to find out exactly what needs to be done. 

After the mower is prepped, you can haul it to the recycling site. Some cities offer pickup on large items like lawn mowers if you call in advance. You will likely have to pay a fee to recycle your mower. 

The local recycling center will process your mower in an environmentally friendly manner. Recycling will keep the mower out of the landfill. The metal components will be processed into other products. 

2. Hire a Junk Removal Service

This is the easiest and most convenient way to get rid of your old mower. Call your local junk removal service and they will pick up your old mower and dispose of it for you. You don’t even have to touch it. They will come to you and load it for you. If you prefer, you can drop it off at their facility.

After the company picks up your mower, they may recycle it, scrap it, fix it and sell it, or just haul it to the dump. Junk removal companies specialize in disposing of bulky items that are hard to get rid of. Most companies will attempt to dispose of it in an eco-friendly manner. 

The drawback is that this can be an expensive option. Professional junk removal services sometimes charge by the load. If you don’t have a full load, you’ll be paying for extra space. It might cost over $100 to get rid of an old mower. An old riding lawn mower can be even more expensive to get rid of because it’s so large. It can pay to shop around. 

3. Take it to a Scrap Yard

A scrap yard

You may be able to sell the metal parts of your lawnmower as scrap metal. This is a way to make a few bucks off of your old mower that is no longer working. 

Exactly how much you can make depends on the type of mower and the materials it’s made of. Scrap metal recyclers will often buy aluminum and steel at market prices. You can call your local scrap metal dealer to ask about the current rates. 

You may have to break the mower down yourself and separate the pieces into metal parts and non-metal parts. Before you begin, be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire to be safe. Some scrap yards will take the whole mower. You’ll usually earn more if the pieces are separated. 

After you have the mower taken apart, you can sort the parts by metal type and sell them. The junkyard will weigh them and pay you based on the weight. 

The drawback to this method is that it takes some time and know-how. You also need the correct tools to take your mower apart. 

4. Arrange Curbside Pickup

Sometimes you can just leave the mower by the curb and your city’s waste management company will pick it up during the regular trash pickup. They will add the lawn mower disposal charge to your garbage bill the next month. 

Before you leave your old mower on the curb, be sure to check with the garbage company. Some cities offer this service and others don’t. Sometimes they only accept small mowers. A riding mower may be too large. Also, check the requirements. Usually, you’ll have to drain any remaining fuel before they will pick up the mower. 

5. Haul it to the Landfill

A landfill

This is one of the easiest ways to get rid of your old mower. Most cities have local landfills where pretty much any type of garbage is accepted. You’ll have to pay a small fee to dump it. 

This isn’t the most environmentally friendly option. The mower will just sit in the landfill and rust away. Before dumping your mower, you should drain all of the fluids and dispose of them properly so they don’t end up leaking into the ground.

6. Look For a Free Local Disposal Event

In some cities, there are free disposal events. This could be hosted by the city, a neighborhood, or a local charity. They pay for a couple of big dumpsters and people can drop off their old junk for free. There will be volunteers to help you unload. 

These events may happen once or twice per year. My neighborhood hosts one every year. Usually during the spring. They bring a large dumpster to a church parking lot and allow people who live in the neighborhood to dump. This is how I got rid of my old mower, a broken vacuum, and a barbecue for free.  

7. Rent a Dumpster

If you have a bunch of old stuff to get rid of, you could rent a dumpster and have it delivered to your home. When it’s full, the company will pick it up and haul it away.

Before tossing your mower in the dumpster, be sure to remove the gas, oil, and batteries and dispose of them properly. These items shouldn’t go in the landfill. 

8. Sell It

If your mower still works, you can sell it and make a few bucks. Start by cleaning your mower. Remove all of the caked-on grass clippings. If it looks good, it will be more appealing to potential buyers. You’ll get more money for it as well. Next, take some pictures and list it online. Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace are good places to sell used mowers. In the ad, be sure to include information about the make and model of the mower as well as the condition.

To help you price it, check the prices of similar used mowers that are listed in your area. Consider the make, model, age, and condition when pricing your mower. If you offer it for a reasonable price, somebody will want it. 

You could also sell your old mower at a yard sale if you have some other stuff to get rid of. Alternatively, you could put it in your yard with a ‘for sale’ sign on it if you live in an area where theft isn’t an issue. It may also be possible to sell it to a pawn shop. 

You can also sell a non-working mower. You might get a little money out of it but not much. Someone with some mechanical skill may buy a non-working lawn mower for cheap and attempt to repair it. 

9. Take it to a Small Engine Repair Shop

You may be able to sell your old mower to a local small engine mechanic. Sometimes, they will buy old mowers, fix them up, and re-sell them. They may also use your old mower for parts.  They probably won’t pay much but it’s better than paying for disposal. 

If the mower isn’t working but it just needs a minor fix, you could also pay to have the mower fixed and then sell it yourself. You’ll get much more out of a working mower than a non-working mower. For example, your non-working mower might be worth $15 worth of scrap. If you spend $50 getting it repaired, you might be able to sell it for $150. 

If the mower isn’t repairable, the shop may also offer a disposal service. You could pay them to dispose of it for you. 

10. Donate It

If your lawnmower is still in good working condition, there may be some local charities in your city that accepts lawnmowers. Some thrift stores may also accept lawnmowers as donations. Sometimes pickup is offered. In most cases, you’ll have to drop the mower off at the donation center. 

Generally, large thrift stores like Goodwill and Salvation Army don’t take powered lawnmowers. You’ll have to look for more local organizations. These places may accept an old push mower. 

A lawn mower

11. Give it Away

If your mower still works, you can just give it to someone who needs a mower. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors. Maybe you have a family member who just bought their first home. They could probably use a mower. 

If you can’t find anybody, you could list it on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace for free. You could also put it out on the curb in front of your house with a ‘free’ sign on it. Chances are, somebody will want it. 

Even if the mower doesn’t work, you could still try giving it away. Somebody might want to tinker around with it and try to fix it or use it for parts. 

12. Trade it 

Some retailers and manufacturers have trade-in programs for old mowers. You can trade in your old mower and get a discount on a newer model. This can be a good option if your old mower is still in good working condition. 

Usually, there are some requirements that your mower will have to meet before it is accepted. In most cases, the mower has to be in working condition to be accepted. It may have to be within a certain age range. Really old mowers may not be accepted. Sometimes only certain brands are accepted. 

In some cities, there are special rebate programs available if you trade in your old gas mower for a new electric lawn mower. These programs are put in place to incentivize people to switch to cleaner and quieter electric mowers. For example, Denver recently started offering people $300 to switch. 

Before bringing your mower in to trade it, clean it up the best you can so you can get as much as possible for it. When you trade in your mower, you won’t get as much for it as you would if you sold it yourself. It is convenient. You get rid of it and get a new lawn mower at the same time. 

You could also trade your mower for something else. Post an ad online and offer your mower up for trade and see what people offer you. Maybe you trade your old mower for some other type of garden equipment or some tools. 

13. Repurpose Your Old Mower

If you’re mechanically inclined, there are a number of projects that you could do with your old mower. A lawnmower engine is really versatile. 

For example, it is possible to turn an old lawn mower engine into a generator that you could use to power your house when the power goes out during an emergency. You could use the motor and build a go-cart for your kids. It’s possible to repurpose a lawnmower motor into a boat motor. You could also turn the mower into an air compressor. 

These could all make some interesting weekend projects. Of course, they do require some tools and know how.

Getting Rid of Old Gas and Oil

Before you get rid of your old mower, you may need to remove the gas, oil, and other fluids. These can be considered hazardous waste. It’s important to dispose of these materials in the proper manner so they don’t contaminate the environment.

Most auto parts stores will take these fluids and dispose of them for you. There are also disposal facilities. Usually, the local dump will take them. There is usually a special ‘hazardous materials’ area. 

An old lawn mower

Final Thoughts

There are plenty of ways to dispose of an old lawn mower. The best option depends on where you live, whether or not your mower is working, which type of mower you have, and how much effort you want to put in. 

If your old mower is non-working, it’s best to try to recycle it or sell it for scrap. This way, at least part of the mower can be re-used. It won’t end up rusting away in a landfill. It’s more environmentally friendly.

The most convenient way to get rid of an old mower is to have a junk removal company come pick it up. When getting rid of your old mower, it’s nice to consider the environmental impact. Some disposal methods are better than others. 

If the mower is still in working condition, you can get the most money out of it by selling it yourself. If you don’t want to deal with selling it, you could always give it away or donate it. 

Do you have an old mower to get rid of? Share your experience in the comments below!

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How to Get Rid of an Old Lawn Mower

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