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Lawn mower disposal is not always an easy task, and may require that the owner go out of his or her way to ensure the machine is properly disposed of. Leaving the mower on the curb for the garbage collector to pick up is usually not an acceptable option in most cities and towns, it may result in someone simply picking it up and reusing it for their own purposes. Some transfer stations will accommodate lawn mower disposal, but this is not the most environmentally friendly option. Recycling centers can also often handle lawn mower disposal, though these centers can sometimes be difficult to find.
The best way to dispose of a lawn mower is to find someone who will reuse the unit or use the parts for other purposes. Lawn mower disposal does not necessarily involve simply throwing the unit away; if the engine is still in working order, it can be used for other purposes or on another mower. Some small engine repair businesses will even pay for old lawn mower engines, which keeps the engines out of landfills where oil and gasoline can leak out of the unit and contaminate the soil. The rest of the mower can be brought to a recycling plant, where the metals and plastics can be reused or recycled to be used in other products.
Another disposal option is to remove the gas tank and drain the oil from the unit. The rest of the lawnmower can be brought to a transfer station or recycling center; some places may even pay for the scrap metal. The oil can be drained into a container that can in turn be brought to an auto parts store for proper disposal. The gasoline must be properly disposed of as well, which can be trickier; burning the excess gasoline can be dangerous, and while the gasoline will evaporate eventually if the tank is left open, the fumes can be hazardous or even fatal. The fumes are also extremely flammable. Research the best way to dispose of the gasoline before doing so; the mower will usually only hold a small amount of gasoline, so it should not be too difficult to take care of this step.
A final option for lawn mower disposal is donation. Finding a non-profit organization in need of a lawnmower or the spare parts one can take from the lawnmower unit is an inexpensive and socially responsible way to get rid of the unit, and the donation may even be tax-deductible.
I take my lawn mower to the same shop every time it needs to be repaired, or it simply needs regular maintenance. Whenever the mechanic there replaces a part, he shows me the old piece that he removed and asks whether I want to keep the old part.
Since I have no use for old mower parts, I always ask him to get rid of them for me, and he does this without charging me. When I want to get rid of an old mower he will also dispose of it for me. I don't know what he does with it or whether he recycles any of the parts.
Most mechanics will do this when you are a regular customer because they want your business and they know this is good customer relations.
My father would take our old worn out small push lawn mowers to the county dump when I was a kid. Back then, the guy in charge of the trash yard would just take the small fee charged for using the site and then tell you where to deposit your trash. As the years pasted, my father became more environmentally aware, and he would drain all the fluids from the machines before disposing of them.
I think there should be some rules for throwing away old mowers, such as removing the oil and gas and disposing of them in a safe way. However, when you make it too difficult to get rid of the mowers, people will simply dump them somewhere illegally and this practice can become an even more dangerous environmental and health hazard.
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