How To Recycle A Lawn Mower – Tips For Both Gas & Electric Lawn Mowers

You can recycle your old lawn mower at your local recycling centre.

Just Google “[your town] + recycling centre” to find the nearest one. Call them and ask them what to do with your lawn mower before bringing it to them.

If your old used lawn mower still works you can sell it on Facebook Marketplace or donate it to Salvation Army or a similar community group.

There are a few things you will likely need to do before the recycling centre will take your mower.

What You Need To Do Before You Can Recycle Your Gas Lawn Mower

You first need to empty the oil and regular gas.

Then you need to get rid of the plastic parts since recycling centres have separate bins for metal and plastic.

Here’s what you need to know.

Emptying The Oil

To empty the oil inside the mower engine just open the drain plug with a wrench and drain the oil into a plastic pan. Leave it draining for a full day before you plan to recycle because it will seep out slow.

You can discard the oil at your local mechanic shop as they have hazardous waste bins.

Sucking Out The Gas

If your mower stopped working with gas still in thank you will need to siphon it out.

To siphon the gas:

  • Remove spark plug and elevate lawn mower on a workbench
  • You will need a clear hose a little thicker than a straw
  • Put one end of the clear hose into the gas tank of the lawn mower
  • Put jerry can where gas will go on floor (or anywhere below the level of the mower)
  • With one end of the hose in the gas tank take the other end and suck like you would with a straw until you see the gasoline start to flow inside the clear hose
  • Quickly remove your mouth and put thumb over the end
  • Now put that end into the jerry can and remove your thumb
  • All the gas will empty into the jerry can.

Once the gas stops flowing you pat dry the inside of the gas tank with a rag or paper towel.

Remove Plastic

Recycle lawn mower showing where plastic is

All lawn mowers will have some plastic you will need to separate from the metal for recycling.

You may need some tools to do this. A screwdriver and correct size wrench should do.

The air filter cover, wheels and gas cap are likely all plastic. It shouldn’t be hard to tell what is plastic and metal. If you simply cannot get some plastic parts off you should still be able to recycle the lawn mower at your local dump (some have recycling facilities) with recycling centre.

Recycling Your Electric Lawn Mower

Electric lawn mowers need to be recycled separately from gas mowers as they are electrical waste not scrap metal waste.

If it is a battery electric mower – remove the battery before recycling.

  • To find your local electric waste recycling centre: Google “[your town] + electrical recycling centre”.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I know if my lawn mower is recyclable?

Most lawn mowers are made of metal, plastic, and other materials that can be recycled. However, it’s always best to check with your local recycling centre to see if they accept lawn mowers before you attempt to recycle one.

Q: How do I dispose of the parts that can’t be recycled?

The best way to dispose of the parts that can’t be recycled is to take them to a local landfill or hazardous waste facility. Most facilities will accept small engines and other lawn mower parts for disposal.

Q: What are the benefits of recycling my lawn mower?

Recycling your lawn mower can help to reduce pollution and conserve resources. In addition, it helps to create jobs. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, every ton of recycled materials creates six times more jobs than sending waste to a landfill.

Q: Can I recycle my old leaf blowers and string trimmers as well?

Of course! You can recycle all sorts of landscaping equipment including lawn mowers, snow blowers, and leaf blowers. Just take them to your local recycling centre once you have separate the plastic from metal.

About your guide: Jamey Kramar is a certified Lawn Care Manager and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about outdoor power equipment for 11 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, Realtor.com, and more. He spends his spare time disassembling things and also building an off-grid cabin at his 200-acre property.