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Can You Throw The Vacuum in The Trash? (And Ways To Dispose of)

Can You Throw The Vacuum in The Trash? (And Ways To Dispose of)

Every homeowner will tell you that the vacuum cleaner is one of the handiest inventions of our time. It goes a long way to help us maintain our homes clean when saving some elbow grease. Unfortunately, like most things, vacuums have a lifespan.

Well, I know you may have much trust in your workhorse. But believe me, there comes a time when your trusty cleaning companion will no longer be up to the challenge. You’ll have to find a way to get rid of the cleaner more sustainably.

Now, perhaps that moment has already come. You walk up to a dead vacuum cleaner. You are already contemplating getting a new one. However, you want to first dispose of the old friend. Should you throw the vacuum in the trash? Well, let’s find out!

Is It Safe To Throw The Vacuum in The Trash?

Unfortunately, throwing the vacuum in the trash isn’t safe. Like other electronic items, vacuum cleaners contain harmful compounds harmful to the environment. If you have to dispose of your vacuum, find alternative safer methods of getting rid of it.

Once your vacuum cleaner has fulfilled its lifespan, what first comes to our minds is tossing it into the trash bin alongside other waste. That looks like the easiest and the most attractive way to get rid of it. However, it isn’t the safest way to go about disposal.

You see, a vacuum cleaner features different materials in its construction. It has aluminum, copper, iron, and other metal components. Of course, that’s without forgetting that it also features plastic parts.

When you dispose of a vacuum cleaner alongside your regular trash, it becomes electronic waste, popularly referred to as e-waste. It’s the same category carrying coffee makers, monitors, refrigerators, broken phones, and other electricals.

Now, e-waste turns out to be the fastest-growing type of waste. And as you might have guessed, that isn’t a good report.

Disposed e-waste ends up burned alongside other trash. Unfortunately, the fumes produced by the metal parts of the vacuum – and other components – are dangerous to the environment. These compounds will transform our planet into something we all do not want with time.

And as we all say, it’s better safe than sorry. In other words, if your cleaner just died, find a safer and more sustainable way to get rid of it. You may end up benefiting from it and saving the planet as well.

Can You Recycle Vacuum Cleaners?

Yes, most of the parts of your vacuum cleaner are recyclable. That includes the hoses, external housing, cords, and others. So yes, a recycling center makes a perfect home for your broken vacuum cleaner.

Even with the fast-growing e-waste, the funny bit is that most electrical items are recyclable. To help you know whether what you have can be recycled, ask yourself one question – can you plug in the accessory, or does it come with a battery? If you answered yes, then know whatever it is, it’s recyclable.

With that criterion, it’s easy to see that most vacuum cleaners are recyclable. Sure, some parts of these cleaners may not be, but the fact is that the majority of the components making up your cleaning companion are.

But again, before you walk into the recycling center to drop off your broken vacuum cleaner, find out whether your device makes the cut. Yes, some recycling centers have limitations as to what they can receive.

So, before you walk into the recycling center, do your research. Get to know whether your vacuum cleaner meets the set standards for acceptance. You should find this information on the facility’s website.

Why Should You Recycle Your Old Vacuum Cleaner?

Recycling helps protect the planet, save resources, create employment, and more. Sure, your vacuum cleaner alone may not achieve all this. However, when everyone does the same, cleaners can significantly impact our planet and economy.

Protecting the environment begins with you. Be considerate with how you dispose of anything after serving its purpose. As for the vacuum cleaner, we’ve said it again and again. It should never go into your trash bin with other trash.

Then, once you know that, spread the gospel to your friends. Make them adopt healthy disposal methods for their used electrical – and other – items. Thankfully, most household items are recyclable.

Once we embrace the culture of recycling things, our collective effort can achieve more than we might expect.

Let’s look at the benefits of recycling:

1. Saves the Environment

As we mentioned earlier, tossing your vacuum into the trash bin is equivalent to environmental pollution. When you recycle, you help reduce e-waste, which eventually reduces pollution.

2. Saves Resources

Recycling conserves the earth’s resources. It requires much fewer resources to recycle items than produce from scratch. Let’s take the metallic parts, for instance. They will use 72% less energy when recycling than producing new ones. And that’s only on electricity.

3. Creates Jobs

The recycling industry is a massive one. It employs thousands of people in the United States alone. So, by recycling your items, you’re not only doing justice to the environment but also cultivating employment opportunities.

4. It’s the Law

Some states have more stringent policies on recycling items. Take California, for instance. The law requires all businesses, apartment complexes, and government entities to have recycling collection services.

5. Boosts the Economy

The recycling industry is a billion-dollar one. The e-waste economic value alone stands at $62.5 billion annually, which is more than the GDP of many countries. So, by recycling your vacuum cleaner and other items, you’re doing much more than you might think to boost the economy.

Does Goodwill Take Broken Vacuum Cleaners?

Unfortunately, Goodwill only accepts clean, safe, and working vacuum cleaners. So, if you want to donate your broken vacuum cleaner to Goodwill, consider repairing it first. From there, you can donate it to the organization.

Goodwill accepts various donations ranging from clothes to books, electronics, and more. However, the organization is very particular about the items it receives. That’s why it’s essential to check the website before you take your items there.

Generally, the organization appreciates donations that are clean, resaleable, safe, and in good condition. Unfortunately, a broken cleaner doesn’t meet all these requirements.

But if you must donate to Goodwill, consider taking your broken vacuum cleaner apart and donating the functional parts. The organization might be able to do something with them.

Alternatively, if possible, have it repaired before donating it to Goodwill. Once repaired, you can either drop it at the donation center or have them pick it up from your home. Either way, you can be sure it will find a new home.

How To Dispose of Broken or Old Vacuum Cleaner?

You can dispose of the broken or old vacuum cleaner by recycling it, selling it online, through the manufacturer, or donating it. These ways are safer to get your vacuum cleaner off your hands and help the environment and perhaps someone else.

Once your vacuum cleaner breaks down, it can be tough to know how to get rid of it. You might be tempted to throw it away, but that’s not the best option. Here are some of the clever ways of disposal.

1. Recycle It

We’ve already seen the benefits of recycling items and don’t need to return to that well again. If you have a broken or old vacuum cleaner, recycle it!

You can take it to an electronic waste recycling center or any other recycling center that accepts appliances. You might even be able to recycle it through your municipality’s curbside pick-up program.

But again, before you recycle your machine, check with your municipality or the recycling center first. Some places might not accept vacuum cleaners, or they might have special instructions on how to recycle them.

2. Sell It Online

Your vacuum cleaner not working anymore doesn’t mean it’s worthless. There are plenty of people who would love to get their hands on an old vacuum cleaner, even if it’s not in working condition.

You can try selling it on websites like eBay or Craigslist. You can also try posting it on Freecycle, a website where people can give away items for free.

You might even be able to make a few bucks off of your old vacuum cleaner!

3. Donate It

Before you donate your vacuum cleaner, give it a good cleaning. You don’t want to present a dirty machine! Goodwill and Salvation Army are just a couple of places that accept small appliance donations.

It’s also important to check with the organization first to see if they accept vacuum cleaners. You will also get to know whether the vacuum cleaner meets the requirements for donation.

Some places might not accept vacuum cleaners, or they might have special instructions on how to donate them.

4. Send It Back To The Manufacturer

Did you know that some vacuum cleaners have a warranty? If your vacuum cleaner is still under warranty, you might be able to get it repaired or replaced for free.

It’s always worth checking with the manufacturer to see if your vacuum cleaner is still under warranty. You might be surprised!

How To Make Your Vacuum Cleaner Last Longer?

The best way to make your vacuum cleaner last longer is to take good care of it. With proper care and maintenance, your vacuum cleaner should serve you for a longer period.

Here are some tips to help you do just that:

Read The Manual

Reading the user manual might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how many people don’t bother reading the manual that comes with their vacuum cleaner. The manual has important information about using and caring for your machine.

Change The Bag

Most vacuum cleaners have a paper or cloth bag that needs to be changed regularly. If you don’t change the bag, your vacuum cleaner won’t work as well and might even break.

Clean The Filter

Most vacuum cleaners have a filter that needs cleaning from time to time. If you don’t clean the filter, your vacuum cleaner won’t work as well and might even break. Where changing the filter is necessary, ensure that you also do it.

Check The Condition of The Brushes

If you have a vacuum cleaner with brushes, it’s important to clean them regularly. Otherwise, they’ll get clogged and won’t work as well. As you do that, also remember to unclog the hoses.

Don’t Overfill It

If you have a canister vacuum cleaner, don’t overfill it. Otherwise, the vacuum cleaner will work less efficiently and might even break. So, if you want your cleaner to work ideally, just ensure you don’t overfill it.


When it comes to disposing of your old vacuum cleaner, you have a few options. You can recycle it, sell it online, donate it, or send it back to the manufacturer. Just ensure that you don’t throw it in the trash!

But again, taking good care of your vacuum cleaner is also important if you want it to last longer. So, make sure to read the manual, change the bag, clean the filter, and check the condition of the brushes. And don’t forget to unclog the hoses!