They say all good things must come to an end and unfortunately, the same is true for lawn mowers. Trusty though our gardening companions may be, they do not last forever, so it’s important to know how to dispose of an old one correctly.
We can achieve so much in our gardens with a lawn mower by our side, and its uses are not limited to merely cutting the grass. Lawn mowers can be used for mulching, preparing material for composting, shredding weeds so that they don’t pop up all over the place, and clearing our lawns of unwanted leaf litter.
Without lawn mowers, we’d all have unruly lawns and weeds running rampant among other issues, and we’d have to deal with these problems using tools much less suitable for the job! Lawn mowers save us a lot of effort over the years and we gardeners owe them a debt of gratitude!
If you look after your lawn mower properly and make sure it is regularly cleaned and maintained, you can expect to get a couple of decades of use out of it. That said, no lawn mower is immortal and the day will come when it’s time to get rid of yours, and you’ll need to do so responsibly.
Presumably, that day is upon you or is fast approaching and that’s why you’re found yourself here at this post. Have no fear, you’ll soon know exactly how to go about disposing of your worn-out lawn mower the right way!
Without any faff, we’ll get straight into how you can get rid of your old lawn mower. There are several options available to you, so have a read and see what will work best for your individual circumstances.
We’ve all heard the mantra “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse” and this first option delves into the “recycle” portion of it. Recycling has become much more prominent recently than it was years ago and as the climate continues to change and people become more aware of their own impact, more people are doing what they can to recycle responsibly.
There’s no doubt that recycling is the easiest way to go, as well as the option that will weigh the least on your conscience. Most recycling centres today will have designated areas for machines like lawn mowers (some will even have lawn mower-specific collection points) where you can drop off your old mower for it to be recycled.
The most difficult part of this process is getting the mower into your car and driving it to the recycling centre – basically everything else is done by the centre staff! The only other thing you need to think about is draining the fluids out of your mower prior to taking it to be recycled.
You can read up on how to drain oil from your mower here.
This is a two-parter solution. You can either get rid of the whole lawn mower in one go by selling it to a scrap yard or scrap collector, or you can take it apart yourself and sell the individual parts for spares – or use the spares yourself if you have a need for them.
There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these methods:
Selling the mower for scrap is going to be the easier of the two options that will require the least amount of your time and energy, whereas taking a mower apart will take a lot of time and effort and selling the individual parts will take more time and effort still. Taking the mower apart yourself will also require some expertise and tools that not all of us have.
If however, you do take the mower apart yourself, you can set aside any parts that are useful to you and save yourself having to buy them from elsewhere. You can also expect to make a tidy sum from selling off the spare parts as long as your mower is not too old or damaged and you’ve found a good market for them.
If your lawn mower is still in decent working condition and is not too old but you want to upgrade, then selling it or giving it away to someone is a good option. There are many online and social media platforms where you’d likely be able to find a buyer for your mower, and even though you won’t make back even nearly what you paid for it, any money you do make can go towards your upgrade.
If you know someone looking for a lawn mower and you don’t want to go through the rigmarole of selling it, you can simply donate it. In doing so, you’re not only helping the person who needed a lawn mower but also yourself as you were able to get rid of it with ease.
Selling and donating are both excellent options in terms of sustainability before you consider scrapping or recycling, as they extend the life of the mower and potentially stop the recipient from buying a new one.
Just be sure that whoever you want to give or sell it to actually needs it so it doesn’t end up clogging up their shed and being taken to the tip after a few months.
If you’ve gone the either the recycling or scrapping route, you’ll need to ensure that all oil and petrol are sufficiently drained from your lawn mower (this is of course assuming you have a petrol mower). Once you’ve drained your mower, you’ll be left with containers of oil and old petrol.
What are you supposed to do with these? Can you reuse them?
Like most things, oil and petrol both have a shelf life and an expiration date so if you’ve drained them from your old mower, the odds are they’re no longer any good to reuse. Both of these liquids are flammable and can pose safety risks to you and to the environment, so it is vital that you dispose of them responsibly too!
Most household waste recycling centres will have a collection point for fuels such as these, so this is probably the best place for you to unload them. Make sure you’ve stored them in suitable containers and that there’s no chance of any leaks happening during transit as this could be dangerous for you.
While having to dispose your lawn mower is an inevitability, there are things you can do to help your lawn mower last as long as it can. This is not an exhaustive list but here are a few handy ideas:
It might seem like a downer to have to spend a lot of money on a lawn mower, but as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for. Buying a more expensive mower from a reputable brand and retailer will mean your lawn mower will have a longer lifespan off the bat and will likely be more durable and reliable.
You may think you’re getting a good deal if you buy a cheap mower, but the odds are it’s cheap for a reason – it might be old stock, or simply lower quality which will lead to more issues in the long run.
Checking your grass for stones, sticks, and other debris that could damage your lawn mower is a good way to ensure your mower doesn’t undergo any undue stress. Majority of lawn mowers were not designed to be pushed or ridden over rocks and bits of branches so remove these things from your lawn before beginning.
Mowing over hard objects like this can damage the blades of your mower as well as send bits of debris flying into other parts of the machine, causing internal damage too.
If you have an electric lawn mower, make sure it is charge properly and to a sufficient level before you begin mowing, and additionally, do not mow until the battery is completely drained. Keeping some charge on your mower helps the battery to last longer in the long-term and improves efficiency.
If you have a petrol mower, make sure you regularly check, drain, and replace the fuel to keep the engine running smoothly and effectively. Oil also needs to be changed regularly, and opt for a high quality oil even if it’s a bit more expensive.
Storing your mower in a sheltered and dry place will also extend its lifespan but you can read more about that here.
There are many different ways to dispose of an old lawn mower without throwing it away irresponsibly. Whether it gets a second chance at life with a new owner, its parts get new lives in other mowers, or it gets recycled to become something new, being logical and responsible is easy!
To avoid having to make this decision, look after and maintain your lawn mower properly and it will be with you for many years!