What to Do with a Broken Vacuum Cleaner

By: Josh Peterson, Planet Green  | 
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Key Takeaways

  • Disposing of a broken vacuum cleaner involves more than just tossing it in the trash due to environmental concerns and sometimes legal restrictions.
  • Options for disposal include selling it on eBay where even inoperative vacuums attract buyers, utilizing local recycling programs or returning it to manufacturers like Dyson who may offer recycling services.
  • Repair shops may also accept broken vacuums for parts, providing an alternative disposal method that helps reduce waste and supports local businesses.

Throwing away a broken vacuum cleaner is bad for the environment. In some places, tossing an old vacuum in the dumpster is downright illegal. If you can't trash the broke-down upright, you should be able to recycle it, right? Nope. Not without taking it apart and sorting it bit by bit. Most people don't have the time for that or even know what the bits are made of. So how can someone responsibly dispose of a broken vacuum cleaner?



The best offense is a good defense. By keeping you vacuum cleaner maintained, it will suck properly for years to come.



The most common ailments of a vacuum cleaner aren't fatal. The majority of us have the wherewithal to repair a clogged canister or a broken or loose belt. A professional handyman can fix a loose wire or make other minor repairs. All these ailments are simple and inexpensive to fix.


How-to Guides


The best way to dispose of a broken vacuum cleaner is by selling it through eBay. You won't make a fortune off of your DOA vacuum cleaner, but it looks like you?=;ll probably be able to find a buyer. Most of the dead vacuums already have a bid or two on them.

Here are four other options if you hate eBay for some reason.


1. If you live in Minnesota, they have a vacuum cleaner recycling program there. You can look go to the site and see if they'll accept shipments.

2. The city of Davis has a recycling program that accepts vacuum cleaners.

3. Dyson, the vacuum maker, will recycle old Dyson vacuums.

4. Try a local repair store. I'll wager that they are always looking for spare parts.


Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if there is no local recycling program available for vacuum cleaners?
Consider contacting local waste management authorities for guidance on electronic waste disposal, or check with national e-waste recycling facilities that may accept vacuums.
Are there any environmental certifications or programs I should look for when purchasing a new vacuum to ensure it's eco-friendly?
Look for vacuums that have Energy Star ratings or follow environmental standards like the EcoLogo program, which indicate higher energy efficiency and lower environmental impact.