Vacuum cleaners are an everyday part of household cleaning. However, like most large electronic appliances, it’s not always clear how to dispose of them responsibly when they’ve served out their life. Here’s a short guide to understanding how to dispose of a vacuum cleaner.
Vacuum cleaners that need to be discarded are what we call electronic waste or e-waste. It is estimated that in 2021, the amount of e-waste in the world will grow to more than 57 million tonnes. The amount of e-waste generated by us has increased as appliances become cheaper and newer and better models hit the market.
Before You Decide to Dispose of Your Vacuum
Often, appliances are designed so that you are forced to dispose of them after using them for a certain period. First, it is essential to consider whether you need to dispose of your vacuum cleaner or whether you can fix the issues that you are having by cleaning vacuum filters or replacing certain parts.
Some common issues that make a vacuum cleaner seem old and unusable can be fixed with a bit of maintenance. This can help you improve your vacuum cleaner’s quality without having to buy an entirely new one.
For instance, if your vacuum cleaner has lost its suction, you can probably fix that without throwing it out entirely. Check the vacuum dust bag and see if it is filled. Emptying it might bring back the suction.
Your vacuum’s air filter might also be clogged or damaged. In that case, simply cleaning it or replacing the filter will solve your problem!
Check and maintain the cleaner belt and base plate to ensure nothing is clogged and there is no dirt buildup. A little bit of cleaning or buying a new part might make your vacuum cleaner as good as new!
Ways of Disposal
If you find that you cannot fix your issues with replacements, or if you simply would like to buy a new vacuum cleaner, there are a few ways in which you can dispose of your old one.
Many people simply leave their vacuum cleaners with the rest of their rubbish. This is the most undesirable way of disposing of e-waste as the city authorities might dispose of it by burning or dumping it, which causes tons of pollution.
Instead, you can donate, sell, or recycle your vacuum cleaner in ways that will be beneficial both for your pocket and the environment!
1. Donate or Swap
If your vacuum cleaner is still functional and you think someone else might be able to make use of it, then consider donating it or swapping it.
There could be individuals in your area who might need a vacuum cleaner and might not be able to afford it. You can also donate your vacuum cleaner to organisations that might need it, such as homeless shelters, rehabilitation centres, relief camps, charity shops and so on.
An excellent way to recycle in your local community is to swap appliances with someone else. They might need a vacuum cleaner, while you might need a toaster! Check with your neighbours and find out if anyone is interested in organising a swapping event.
2. Second-Hand Markets
A second-hand market is a good place to sell your old but functional vacuum cleaner. Many people are looking for electronic appliances at a slightly lower price than the regular market rate. You could find second-hand markets and buyers locally or online through platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.
3. Sell Old Parts
You can sell different parts of your vacuum cleaner separately for different prices. The metal parts of your vacuum cleaner can be sold at a scrapyard and you will find buyers for the nozzles, pipes and hoses as well.
The essential parts of the vacuum cleaner that are functional, such as the cleaner belt, could be sold at reasonable prices since people might need them for their own vacuum cleaners.
This is especially useful if you have a model that is no longer manufactured since people looking to replace parts will not find a replacement from the manufacturer.
4. Recycling Centres
Check online and with your local community to find out information about recycling centres in your city. Different centres have different guidelines about what they will be able to recycle.
If there is a suitable recycling centre near you, you can simply drop off your vacuum cleaner there and it will be taken apart and recycled according to their process. This is one of the best, most environmentally friendly ways to dispose of a broken vacuum cleaner.
If you’re recycling centre/rubbish dump is too far away or you don’t have transport, then contact your local council as they should be able to provide free uplift and disposal service for electrical items such as vacuum cleaners.
5. Manufacturers and Electronic Shops
It is part of the manufacturer’s duty to ensure the environmentally friendly disposal of appliances. If you contact the customer service of your vacuum cleaner’s manufacturer, they might direct you to a collection centre or pick it up from you.
Many electronic shops also have e-waste management initiatives. For instance, they might have an option for you to hand in an old vacuum cleaner and get a discount on buying a new one.
Vacuum cleaners are handy appliances that make life a lot easier. However, when it is time to dispose of your vacuum cleaner, it is essential not to add to the enormous amounts of waste and pollution around us. You might want to swap your old upright vacuum cleaner that’s in good working order for a fancy new cordless stick vacuum. In this case, ask yourself – do you really need that new vacuum cleaner when the one you’re using works fine?
If you’re simply upgrading to a newer vacuum cleaner, and the one you currently have works well, then don’t bin it, pass it onto someone who will use it until it reaches the end of its working life.
Disposing of a vacuum cleaner responsibly and ethically is a simple process with many convenient options that are friendly to both your budget and the environment.