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.
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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.