How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Last updated on January 22nd, 2021

Last updated on January 22nd, 2021

Although everybody has a vacuum cleaner, few people put any thought into recycling it once if it breaks. With the wear and tear that the products put up with, they can easily break down, leading to many people throwing it in the trash and upgrading to a newer model.

This leads to a considerable number of vacuum cleaners being tossed onto the garbage pile every year. This can wreak havoc for the environment, as the appliances can take decades to decompose, if ever. Many people will be environmentally-minded and want to avoid this.

However, they may not know how, or where, to recycle their vacuum cleaner. There are various ways that you can do so.

Broken Vacuum Cleaners

There aren’t many things you can do with a broken vacuum cleaner.

This means that a significant number of people throw them in the trash. Before you do so, there are a few things you should consider first.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Try Simple Repairs

Many people believe that their vacuum cleaner should be thrown away as soon as it starts acting up. There may be a few simple fixes to take care of it, however. You should concentrate on a few areas, with its bag being the first thing to look at.

Dust off the insides and replace the bag, and your vacuum may work as good as new. This can be a common problem with the unit and is often something that people overlook.

If this doesn’t fix the problem, you should inspect the nozzle and any attachments.

There can often be a blockage in these areas, which will greatly impact its performance. As simple as it sounds, it can be an easy way to fix the problem.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

This can be a great way to avoid needing to replace your vacuum. You should also perform regular maintenance on your cleaner, and other appliances, as it prevents any problems from occurring.

Recycling Center

If your vacuum cleaner no longer works, then you should consider a vacuum recycling center. The majority of the units are recyclable, so there should be no problem donating it.

It may take some research to find an appropriate center, though the environmental benefits can be worth it.

When you’re at the center, you shouldn’t have to worry about which bin to put the vacuum cleaner into

Staff at the centers will be able to assist you with this area.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

The unit will typically go toward creating plastic plant pots, outdoor furniture, and even car dashboards. The potential use of this can be endless, which further increases the environmental benefits of the donation. When you do this you will need a new vacuum cleaner. We have prepared an excellent list for you. Check out our list of the best electric brooms.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Ask A Vacuum Company

Many will take it off your hands, with picking it up while they’re delivering the new cleaner. In many cases, the units will be stripped apart and used to repair other vacuums.

While some companies may not do so, they should be able to recommend a local recycling center.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

This often means that you’ll know what your options are without having to spend time researching the area.

It takes some time to deliver new equipment. But the need to keep the house clean does not disappear. For this occasion, we have prepared tips for cleaning hardwood floors. You can also find out how easy it is to remove hair from the carpet.

If It Still Works

If your vacuum cleaner still works, but you’re looking to upgrade, there are a few other options available to you. With a certain amount of research, you may even be able to make some money out of it.

Donate It To A Charity Shop

Many people donate clothes to charity shops regularly, which often leaves them with an excess of unwanted clothing.

However, functional appliances usually aren’t donated too frequently. This may leave them with a dire need of units.

By donating your vacuum cleaner, it will be going to a good cause and creates a win-win situation for everybody involved.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Not only will you have a no-cost way of getting rid of the unit, but someone in need will be able to purchase it at an affordable price.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Selling Online Or Try Swapping Events

If your vacuum cleaner is relatively new and in good condition, you may be able to sell it online. There can be several groups on social media and forums that may be specific to your area.

This can be much more convenient for people, while also allowing you to make money to put toward your new cleaner.

To do so, you’ll need to take several high-quality photos of the unit from different angles.

You should show it off in a positive light to gain interest in it.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

It’s recommended that you research what other second-hand vacuum cleaners are selling for in your area.

This will give you a general idea of what to expect. Swap meets may also be a potential avenue for you. These often take place a local community fair, and allow you to trade your unit for other products of an equivalent price.

This can be beneficial for everybody involved, as you’ll be able to find an appliance that you’ll use.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Sell It To An Electronics Store

Many electronics stores will be open to purchasing second-hand units. While you mightn’t get as much as you’d expect, it can be put toward a new vacuum.

This means that you’ll be able to save money on the purchase.

This can depend on your local store, as not every shop will do so.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

If they sell second-hand products alongside new ones, then they may be likely to purchase your old vacuum cleaner.

Each of the above will minimize the impact you have on the environment. Depending on your state, you may need to put some time and effort into finding where to recycle your vacuum cleaner. This mightn’t be as large as you believe, as it can often need just a simple Google search.

Much of this can be applied to other electronics that you have. With each unit that you recycle, or even reuse, you’re reducing the harm you may be doing to the environment. Recycling can be a win-win for everybody, as it offers a feel-good way to get rid of your unit.

Robert J. Criswell
  • Last Updated March 11, 2020

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Nowadays, in the age of modernization, it’s hard to believe that there once was a time when vacuum cleaners and a lot of other household appliances didn’t exist. These days vacuum cleaners have become an integral part of life for nearly everyone. In fact, we’ve come to depend on them so much that when our vacuum cleaner breaks down, maybe choking on its last huge clump of dog or cat hair, we get frustrated and our first instinct is to simply throw it away and buy a new one. The last thing we think about is recycling it.

Well, you should start considering it and learn how to recycle your vacuum cleaner. You won’t be doing this just for environmental reasons either, you can benefit as well. Of course disposing of your vacuum cleaner the same way you do your other trash can cause harm to the environment, but there are other things to consider, such as e-waste.

Table of Contents

Here are some useful tips on how to recycle your vacuum cleaner:

In this day and age, it’s doubtful that you’ll find anyone who would argue against the importance of recycling. But you should also keep in mind that in some areas local law says that it’s illegal to put appliances in the trash. So let’s get you started.

1. Check if your vacuum cleaner can be recycled

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Image credit wikihow

Rather than just getting in the car and driving to your local recycling center, it’s a good idea to call ahead and ask about it. While it’s rare for a vacuum not to be recyclable, it doesn’t hurt to make sure.

In order to be recyclable, your vacuum cleaner should have a plug, batteries and a recharging cable. It should also have a picture of a bin crossed out somewhere on it.

2. The Recycling Center

Go there. Usually, about 90% of a vacuum cleaner can be recycled. You might be surprised to learn that a good part of it will be used to make outdoor furniture, plastic pots, and car dashboards. Here you can learn more about how you can save the world by recycling Vacuum cleaners.

3. Call a Vacuum Cleaner Company

If a recycling center isn’t an option for you, you could call the company you’ve decided to purchase your new vacuum cleaner from and ask if they will pick up your old one for recycling in exchange when they deliver your new one. If you get lucky, some stores even provide discounts if you buy a new vacuum cleaner and give them your old one for recycling.

The reason these stores will take your dead as a door nail vacuum cleaner is because they can sell the parts and recycle virtually all of it.

4. Scrap Yards

Although it certainly won’t make you rich, scrap yards may pay you for certain metal parts of your vacuum and the copper wiring that’s found in the cord. In exchange, you might have to disassemble the vacuum yourself and separate the parts. But this isn’t a very hard task, so you can probably tackle it on your own.

5. Sell Parts

Certain parts of your vacuum might have a second life even without the device itself. Brushes, hoses, nozzles and various other attachments can be taken out and cleaned up, then sold. You won’t get a whole lot of money for these items, but even a little bit is better than nothing at all. Also, if you have an older model vacuum you might be able to get some decent money for the vacuum belt, as these types are hard to come by and there is a strong demand for them.

6. Donate an Operational Vacuum

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Image Source – GoodWill

Yet another way to recycle your vacuum cleaner without actually disposing of it is to donate it. That’s if it’s still operational, but maybe you just think it’s time for a new one. It should be a simple matter finding a donation center, shelter, or local thrift store that will accept your trusty old vacuum. Some of the centers will issue tax-deductible receipts as your reward for helping those less fortunate.

You can also locate homeless shelters or addiction centers and ask if they need used, but in good condition, vacuum cleaners. There is also an online directory you can tap into to assist you in finding a homeless shelter near you.

Furthermore, perhaps your church, the local school, even a friend of yours may be glad to receive a newer model vacuum.

Here are some things you should keep in mind when recycling your vacuum cleaner. Trash that isn’t recyclable emits toxic gases and chemicals which damage the environment and pollute our air. With all of the country’s other problems, you don’t hear very much about that, but it is a fact.

Your vacuum cleaner isn’t biodegradable and that makes it vital that you recycle it if at all possible. It’s worth the extra trouble if it means protecting the environment. Plus, you’re actually helping the economy. You see, recycling encourages economic growth and creates jobs to boot.

A whole lot of people work in the recycling industry which generates billions of dollars in wages.

By recycling your vacuum cleaner you are not only aiding the country’s economy but setting a good example. When your friends and neighbors find out that you are recycling your appliances, they may be moved to follow in your footsteps and do the same.

So with all of the benefits of recycling your vacuum cleaner sacrificing a little of your time to do it is a good thing all around. It’s for certain that you won’t regret it, and you may even start a new, Eco-friendly tradition right in your own neighborhood.

Vacuum cleaners, like all home appliances, tend to breakdown after repeated use. Unfortunately in today’s world of ever-growing consumption, repairing and fixing of broken down small machinery is almost unheard of. People would rather buy a new appliance then spend money to get it repaired. One of the reasons for this is the high cost of repair labor. Remember your vacuum cleaner has been manufactured using highly mechanical systems that lower labor costs. On the contrary, taking apart a vacuum cleaner just to see what is wrong with it is a time-consuming affair, and the cost of the labor can become quite high.

Why to Recycle and Not to Repair

One of the reasons why it is very difficult to repair a vacuum cleaner is that it has a large number of parts. This also makes it difficult to recycle a vacuum cleaner as the various parts of it all need to be disposed of differently. You have the plastic parts of the body and hose, there are the electrical parts of the motor, and then the mechanical parts that make the thing run.

Recycling Vaccum Cleaners

Recyclers nowadays are often specialists; each one would handle only certain items. It is rare to find one who will take all the parts of your vacuum cleaner, and if he does, it would be at a price that is laughable. There are repair shops that would take specific components that they can reuse to repair other vacuum cleaners. Again with the vast number of models available on the market for new cleaners, a repair shop cannot really stock up on spares for all machines.

There are sites on the Internet that would pick up your vacuum cleaner but would not pay you anything for it. They may sell some of the parts separately. You can of course disassemble the vacuum cleaner yourself and see if you can sell the individual parts yourself on eBay or other sites. When you are doing this, be prepared to have to keep the parts that you have offered on sale for a fairly long time until they are all sold off. And the parts that cannot be sold or are damaged beyond repair need to be disposed of properly.

If, however, you are planning to dispose of your vacuum cleaner just because you are going to replace the cleaner with a newer model, you may find thrift stores that will take in your old vacuum cleaner. These stores will service it and offer it for sale again at throwaway prices. Or you can gift it to shelters and other charitable institutions that are always looking for such things.

Environment laws are becoming stricter by the day and it is almost certain that you cannot dispose of a used vacuum cleaner in your local landfill. Almost all county areas have designated recycle centers that are there to take care of such old equipment. They function under strict guidelines and will dispose of your old vacuum cleaner in keeping with all the current laws.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Most of us own a vacuum cleaner, but we rarely think about recycling it before looking for a new one.

Throwing a vacuum into the trash and purchasing a new one is easy, but this practice is harmful to the environment.

Also, throwing a vacuum cleaner does not help you at all while buying a new cleaning machine. Instead of dumping your vacuum, consider to recycle it, so that you can be sure that it is not making any negative impact on our ecosystem.

You can also resell or donate it so that someone in need can use it and appreciate your gesture.

In the case of reselling, you will get some amount of money that you can use while purchasing a new vacuum.

Table of Contents

Start with Basic Troubleshooting

If the vacuum has stopped working, it might work again if you perform necessary cleanup. You do not need technical knowledge to do a primary maintenance session.

Open the upper compartment in case you have an upright or stick vacuum, clean it properly by removing the dirt and dust.

Replace the dust bag, look for any big stuff that may be picked by the vacuum by mistake.

Can You Get it Repaired?

There are chances that the non-working vacuum cleaner may still have something left in it.

So, try to get it repaired from the same manufacturer. Check it online. If it is not even under warranty, they can send a paid technician to fix the vacuum cleaner.

For example, you can get the necessary troubleshooting steps and contact number for Shark vacuums here. Similarly, try to find support for the brand of your vacuum cleaner.

If you cannot see it online, then try to find a local electronic store or technician who can fix it. Electronic stores which have the technicians to vacuums are generally situated near hardware stores. Search it on Google as well.

Selling Options

1. Websites or apps. If your vacuum cleaner is functional, it can spend its life in some other house. The Internet gives you some options where you can easily sell a used vacuum.

Log in to eBay or Gumtree, upload some images and wait for some clicks. And yes, do not make it too expensive, it should be reachable for all the masses. You can also use apps for eBay and Gumtree.

2. Electronic store: Local vacuum recyclers may or may not accept all the components of a vacuum cleaner. If they do, they might ask for a high price. Repair shops will only purchase those components that they can use to repair other models.

There are numerous vacuum cleaning brands, and this is the reason why a repair shop cannot stack up all the parts. But still, you will be able to sell some of the parts for a decent price.

If you are a technical person, then you can try to disassemble it yourself to separate the pats. Nozzle, brushes, hoses, belts are all good resale candidates. Attachments are easy to use, and you can easily sell them to the electronic store.

Spare belts and packed filter packs can also bring some bucks. You can easily separate these parts and mention them on eBay. Just know what you are doing. Make sure you have the toolset to disassemble all the parts.

3. Sell it to any friend. Maybe any of your friends is looking for an inexpensive vacuum. You can always sell it to someone who you know – at a reasonable price. Again, it should be in a working condition for that.

Swapping Events

Several local electronic stores and shopping marts organize events wherein you can exchange your old electronic items for something useful in return.

Recycling Options

You can utilize some of the sites that will pick up your old vacuum cleaner without much difficulty. Two best online resources that can pick up the vacuum cleaner from your doorstep are GoVacuum and BestBuy.

BestBuy will give you credits while purchasing a new vacuum from their website or they offer you a gift card worth of the old cleaner. While GoVacuum can pick the vacuum without any shipping charges and recycle the product.


One of the most effective ways to recycle the vacuum cleaner is to donate it. Consider giving the vacuum to another person who is in need and can utilize it. Childcare establishments, schools or anyone in the neighborhood will always appreciate this step.

Many night shelters are always in search of such inexpensive buys. But yes, make sure that the vacuum is still functional before donating it to anyone.

You can also consider it to giving anyone in your family. Maybe you need something in the future, and you get it from them.

Use it as an Art Fixture

If the vacuum cleaner is in such a bad condition that neither you can sell or donate it, then use the vacuum for another purpose.

If you are using an upright, take out all the parts from the primary container, and use the container for storage in your garage or the kitchen.

If you are creative enough, you can use the vacuum as a plant pot with some painting on it.

Final Verdict

Always try to maintain your vacuum cleaner to extend its life. If it has given up, try to utilize the ideas above. Do not just throw your vacuum to be a landfill. Even if you are not recycling, use other steps to keep the vacuum going if it is getting used by someone, how is it going to the dumpsters?

We should get into a habit of reusing the stuff to minimize electronic waste. To want to know why?

Recycling conserves our natural resources like forests, wildlife, and in turns it protects us.

Recycling saves energy, energy to transform the products. Manufacturing paper using recycled products is forty percent energy efficient. The power utilized to recycle electronic stuff and glasses will be used in other areas where the country needs light. Recycling reduces the dangerous and climate changing carbon emission in the climate, creates jobs and there are other endless things to know.

Enjoy the green around us and try to keep it that way. Every step counts.

Recycling is a process that most people nowadays follow. A variety of products can be recycled, and let us now see if it is possible with the vacuum cleaners since they are made up of multiple materials.

How to recycle a vacuum cleaner

Can We Use Vacuum Cleaners On Wood Floors?

Yes, vacuum cleaners can be recycled. Most homes nowadays have a unique vacuum cleaner that can be used for cleaning the fine dust particles on the floor, bed, and carpets. They are products that can be used for a long time, but once they break down, it will be impossible to reinstall them into their original state.

So most people prefer discarding them or selling them in the junkyard shops for a low price. Your concentration will automatically be focused on purchasing a new product, and you will not understand the value of such old products. In reality, these vacuum cleaners can be recycled in several ways, and let us now take a look at them.

Why is recycling important?

Each vacuum cleaner comes along with a life expectancy of at least 10 to 15 years. We are using it for more than that period, which might damage the cleaner and the environment because certain products within the cleaners cannot be used for more than 15 years. There are multiple advantages to recycling a vacuum cleaner.

From creating and managing e-waste to keeping our planet clean, we have a wide range of benefits. Recycling vacuum cleaners also reduces carbon dioxide emissions since the new manufacturing process emits a lot of harmful chemicals into the environment. So by following the process of recycling, you can save a lot of energy and create economic advantages.

Recycling process

If there is any breakage in your vacuum cleaner, try repairing it because even a small repair work can make your vacuum cleaner run successfully for the next five to six years. Nowadays, most of the parts are available in the market. And you can easily replace any broken area. But if there is any damage beyond repair, the next step is to recycle the cleaners either by yourself or by submitting them to the recycling centre. There are multiple techniques available for recycling a vacuum cleaner, and some have been stated below.

Recycling centres

There are various recycling centres available in the market and hence choose a perfect product. For example, there are various types of vacuum cleaners available, and among them, each has a different recycling procedure. Some of the everyday items that can be reused include cords, hoses and plastic portions of a vacuum cleaner.


If your vacuum cleaner is too old, then the best way to dispose of them is through a scrapyard. Along with the ability to properly dispose of the vacuum cleaner, the day also offers equal pay for the junks you use throughout. This crap yours go well along with the metallic items. So while recycling, vacuum cleaners give away the plastic parts to the recycling centres while the metallic elements can be sold to the scrap yard.


Some vacuum cleaners like the nozzles and accessories can be reused with the new vacuum cleaners. So along with other advantages of recycling, you will also have extra accessories that are not available in the new cleaner. Certain parts of the vacuum cleaners can also be disposed of in an electronic store, especially the e-waste. The motors and every other component can be recycled effectively through the above techniques.

Recycling can be effective for the environment. So when there is an issue with your vacuum cleaner, try to repair, reuse, and recycle it in the most efficient way possible.

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The Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) reopened to the public on April 28, 2020.

Please Observe New Covid-19 Protocols and Hours:

Given the high degree of customer/staff interaction at the Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM), the facility has been closed in compliance with the City of Boulder’s local emergency declaration and efforts to avoid the spread of COVID-19. However, the CHaRM is now reopening with strict new protocols to serve the community while limiting exposure between and among customers and staff.


All visitors to the CHaRM will be required to:

Place electronics you’re dropping off for recycling in the very back of your vehicle (trunk or truck bed) so they can be easily accessed by our staff while maintaining a safe distance. Vehicles not adhering to this requirement will be asked to exit the CHaRM yard, relocate their electronics, and come through the line again. Otherwise, please follow instructions from our Blue Star Recyclers partners for unloading your own vehicle.

Wear a mask or face covering at all times (our staff will do the same)

Pay with credit card ONLY with a self-pay system (NO cash or checks will be accepted)

Observe 6-foot distancing areas marked off around drop-off bins

Stay in your car to wait your turn until customers in front of you have cleared the area around a drop-off bin you wish to use

Unload your own vehicles (please bring help if needed, as our staff has been directed to maintain a 6-foot distance)

Please read signs guiding you through our new transaction processes

We look forward to seeing you and serving your hard-to-recycle needs! Please visit for a full list of materials accepted, as well as prices. Please email [email protected] or call 303-444-6634 with questions.

NOTE: The Resource Central Yard, adjacent to the Eco-Cycle CHaRM, is run by Resource Central and will be observing a different schedule and timeline. Please visit for updates.

Other News:

Outside of Boulder County? Our new Eco-Cycle Solutions Hub has the tools you need to get your community moving toward Zero Waste. >> Get started

We’re committed to giving our products a proper farewell when it’s time to visit that big living room in the sky. When that times come:

  • Your BISSELL product can be shipped to our recycling center in Texas. That’s where trained professionals will examine it, save the parts that can be used for other products, and recycle the rest. Just put it in a box and ship it to:
    • 901 E Hi-Line Rd
    • Pharr, TX 78577

    Or If you live in West Michigan, drop it off at:

    • 2345 Walker Ave NW
    • Grand Rapids, MI 49544
  • Find a local recycling center that takes vacuums on sites like
  • Make sure you recycle your battery. This falls under our commitment to take care of the environment. In 2014 alone, BISSELL recycled more than 1.5 tons of batteries.

We strive to be the customer’s first choice in home cleaning solutions. As part of that pursuit, we’ve set a target of 10% reduction of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of all our facilities by 2025. This goal recognizes our constant opportunity for improvement and reflects what we’ve already accomplished in reducing our CO2e from our facilities.

Love Your Pet, But Not the Mess

No one knows pet messes better or love pets more. That’s why BISSELL is pet owners’ #1 choice.* BISSELL® proudly supports BISSELL Pet Foundation® and its mission to help save homeless pets. When you buy a BISSELL product, you help save pets, too.

We’re proud to design products that help make pet messes, odors and pet homelessness disappear.

With your purchase of BISSELL products, BISSELL Pet Foundation helps bring furry family members home. Thanks for helping save 215,000 shelter pets… and counting.

What makes vacuum cleaners so difficult to recycle? The primary reason is because they are made up of so many different components. In order to recycle these machines, they must be completely taken apart and the different parts handled individually.

Options for recycling a vacuum cleaner

I’m from the school of “use it up.” I know that regular maintenance of my old vacuum cleaner is the greenest possible thing that can be done. Before getting rid of that vacuum cleaner, check with a reputable repairman to see if the machine can be repaired.

Repairs and maintenance aren’t cheap but it’s certainly less expensive than replacing an old vacuum with a new one. Better yet, it also keeps non recyclable components out of the landfill. Even though replacing a cord on an old machine might be half the cost of buying a brand new vacuum cleaner, repairing what is broken is always the better alternative. If the machine just can’t be repaired, there are several options you may wish to try.

Used vacuum cleaner repair shops will sometimes take the components for parts. Listing it on freecycle is also an option; perhaps someone else may have a use for the parts or would like to use the motor for a small engine project for a high school or 4-H project. Another alternative, and one that may generate a bit of income, is to disassemble the vacuum cleaner yourself and sell the parts on eBay. Hoses, tubes, filters, wands, cloth bags and brushes for older vacuum cleaners are often hard to come by. EBay is often the first place many people look when trying to restore an old machine.

Where to get rid of a working machine

If your machine still works, it will be much easier to dispose of. Thrift stores always accept old, working machines for resale. Charities, such as shelter homes, food pantries, and day shelters will also gladly accept working vacuum cleaners.

If you still can’t get rid of the machine after trying these options, call your local recycling center. Almost all facilities will take the motor and the metal components; a few will take the entire machine.