How To Dispose Of/Recycle Vacuum Cleaners in the UK


You can’t go a day without running across a vacuum cleaner in your home. Every year, almost 5 million customers in the UK buy a new vacuum cleaner for their homes.

Vacuum cleaners are one of those household items you never really give much thought to until something goes wrong. Many people throw away their vacuum cleaners in the garbage or end up in landfills.

If you have a vacuum cleaner in your home and you’re going to dispose of it. But no matter how much you try to eliminate it, your vacuum won’t die. And when your family starts asking about the smell, your neighbors will start complaining too!

But does it matter anymore once it has reached the end of its life cycle? What should you do with your old vacuum cleaner?

Well, this question has come up multiple times in your mind. Here we’ll try and give some insight into how to dispose of your vacuum and recycle it.

Why Should You Recycle the Vacuum?

Cleaning Is Not an Easy Task

When your vacuum breaks, you’ll have to clean your carpets yourself and use your old mop instead. If you don’t know much about cleaning, you might not realize that cleaning is an extremely hard task and requires a lot of effort. Recycling will save you from all the headaches of cleaning your floor manually.

Environmental Friendly Option

As our planet gets greener by the day, recycling has become a crucial part of being green. Using this method, you won’t have to spend all your money buying new items. It also helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. It is also a way of saving our earth from pollution.

You are also reducing your carbon footprint. This dramatically impacts our planet because we add a little bit every time we use energy.

According to one study, if everyone recycled half of what we throw away, we would avoid dumping almost 2.5 billion tons of waste into landfills. Hence, recycling your broken or functional vacuum cleaner is an excellent way of living green.

Save Your Money

There is no doubt that most vacuum cleaners cost thousands of dollars. By recycling your old vacuum cleaner, you can save money for more important things.

Boosts Economy

The recycling of electronic devices can bring in much-needed revenue for the economy. The same is true for vacuums too. Since your vacuum is still valuable and usable, there are so many ways to recycle it.

63.2% of the UK’s packaging trash was recycled in 2020, according to preliminary estimates for 2021. Around 43.9 million tonnes of residential and retail trash were created in the UK in 2018, with England generating 37.2 million tonnes, 85% of that total.

How to Dispose of a Vacuum Cleaner: Step-by-Step Guide

Here is how you can safely dispose of your vacuum cleaner.

1. Get a Thorough Understanding of the WEEE Directive

The Waste Electrical & Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive is an EU law regulating waste electrical equipment management. It is similar to the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA).

To be sure that your vacuum is disposed of correctly, you must first be aware of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive. This directive defines the terms you should follow to properly dispose of your vacuum.

This directive was passed to reduce the amount of waste in landfills and is currently enforced by all EU countries. So if you live in an EU country, you must comply with the WEEE directives.

If you are unsure of the rules, here is an easy-to-understand guide on the EU rules about recycling.

  • Do not throw your vacuum in the trash.
  • Find out if your municipality has a specialised recycling program for electrical equipment.
  • If not, take your vacuum to a private recycling company specialising in electrical equipment.
  • Ensure you get a certificate of destruction or a recycling certificate from the company to ensure that your vacuum is properly recycled.

Note: You must check with your local municipality on their specific rules for WEEE recycling. Most likely, they will have a designated day or days where you can take your WEEE products to be recycled. If they don’t have a special day set, you can check with your local grocery or home improvement store to see if they have a take-back program for WEEE products. If all else fails, you can check with your product manufacturer to see if they offer a take-back program.

2. Unplug the Vacuum Cleaner and Remove the Battery (if Any)

Use one hand to remove the power cord plug from the power socket and use the other hand to gently push the plug into a wall socket. Disconnect the hose from the vacuum’s power cord by gently twisting the plastic hosing inside the power cord.

3. Separate the Plastic and Metal Parts of the Vacuum Cleaner

You’ll need to carefully separate the plastic parts of the vacuum from the metal parts. To do this, remove the brush roll, motor, and wheels from the top of the vacuum cleaner. You can leave these parts connected to each other because they are not part of the battery and power cord.

Next, use a screwdriver or the small flathead screwdriver to carefully remove the screws that hold the metal base together. Then remove the two metal plates from the bottom of the metal frame. Be careful not to break any of the metal pieces that connect to the motor, as this may be very difficult to fix if it happens.

4. Empty All Dust and Dirt Collected in the Vacuum Bags

Unroll the hard-sided vacuum bags and empty the dust and dirt into a dust bag. If you use a soft-sided vacuum bag, simply open it up and empty the contents into another bag.

5. Close the Lid or Cover of the Vacuum Cleaner

Close the lid or cover of the vacuum to prevent any stray dust particles from getting into the rest of the components of the vacuum.

What’s Next? Following are some options, whether you want to recycle your vacuum cleaner or just give it away at a garage.

Other Options to Consider

1. Recycling Centres

Many cities and towns have recycling centers that you can find near your home. Many people opt for this option as they are unaware there is more than one way to get rid of it. So if you need to throw away an old vacuum, just drop it off in the designated container, and the recycling workers will do the rest.

2. Scrap Metal Scrappers

What to do with broken vacuum? Scrap metal scrappers collect scrap metals and turn them into money. These are usually found in big markets or malls. They charge a minimal amount to get the scrap, which can be a lucrative business for the seller. However, they take longer to sell the scrap and can be very tedious.

3. Sale Your Vacuum Cleaner Parts

If you are looking to earn some cash out of your worn-out vacuum cleaner, then why not sell your old vacuum cleaner parts? You can post an ad to sell all the parts of your vacuum on Craigslist or eBay.

4. Donate Old Vacuum To The Charity

Where to donate vacuum cleaner? Another effective way to dispose of your used vacuum is by donating it to a charitable organization. Such organizations include animal shelters, children’s hospitals, food banks, and other similar charities. They buy used vacuums, repair them and sell them to people who cannot afford to buy a new ones.

5. Go to a Swapping Event and Swap it

If you don’t want to donate or sell but just want to get rid of your old vacuum cleaner, consider going to a vacuum swapping event. These events are held in shopping malls, and people bring their used vacuums to exchange for brand-new ones.

These events also offer freebies, so take advantage of them if you find yourself at one of these events. You might just get a new vacuum as a gift.

6. Call a Professional

Lastly, you can always call a professional to clean your old vacuum. Maybe your vacuum has a leak, and you need to find an expert who will find it and fix it. This will cost you money, so do your research and request quotes from several professionals before signing any contract.

Tips to Extend the Life of Your Vacuum

  • If you load the container or bag to the top, it might clog the device.
  • Regularly clean the filthy filter; get a new one if it shreds.
  • It is recommended that you clean the powered brush of your vacuum every few days.
  • The engine might be overworked if it is clogged with carpet fibres, matted hair, and other dirt.
  • Consider examining the hose to ensure that there are no obstructions that might possibly cause damage.

How To Get Rid Of Vacuum Cleaner – FAQs

Q. Where to Recycle Vacuum Cleaners in Uk?

The UK government suggests that all vacuum cleaners be disposed of environmentally safe. You should visit a recycling site to dispose of your vacuum cleaner the right way. However, these sites are usually only located in certain parts of the UK. Some places have a limited number of slots available for the disposal of the vacuum cleaner, so make sure that you have time to dispose of it properly.

Q. Can You Throw a Vacuum in the Dumpster?

If you are wondering ‘’can I put a vacuum cleaner in the garbage’’. Yes, but there are some limitations to what can go into the dumpster. Certain household waste is not allowed to be thrown in the dumpster. These include, but are not limited to, paint and chemicals, batteries, and electronics. So, consider removing these parts before dumping your vacuum cleaner.


Is your vacuum cleaner cluttering up your living space? It’s a huge problem. Vacuums are a great addition to any household. However, they can quickly become an eyesore. You may want to throw it away or recycle it, but you must know how to dispose of your vacuum cleaner correctly. And the best thing is that most of the above-mentioned steps are simple and quick to execute.

Richman Aurthur

Hey, it's me, Richman Arthur - your cleaning guru with 18 years of vacuum wizardry under my belt. Let's chase away those pesky dust tumbleweeds and make cleaning fun

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