How to Recycle Old Tools

You’re doing a bit of decluttering and find you have some old tools in the garage or workshop that are beyond repair. Before you just toss them in the trash, here’s what you need to know about recycling old tools.

Tools jgolby/Shutterstock

You’re doing a bit of decluttering and find you have some old tools in the garage or workshop that are beyond repair. Before you just toss them in the trash, here’s what you need to know about recycling old tools.

How to Recycle Old Tools: Contact the Dealer

Some tool companies, such as Bosch, allow customers to drop off their old power tools at one of their dealers or service centers. These tools are then properly disassembled and taken to recycling centers. Check the tool manufacturer’s website to see if it participates in such a program.

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How to Recycle Old Tools: Sell them for Scrap

If the broken tool is made of metal, you can try separating the metal from the rest of the tool and selling it for scrap. “Metal is one of the few items that you can regularly recycle for money, although you’ll usually get paid by the pound,” according to earth911. The website offers information on how to recycle scrap metal, along with a metal recycling locator. Make some extra room in your garage or workshop by donating your unwanted tools.

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How to Recycle Old Tools: Remove the Battery

If the old tool has a rechargeable battery, be sure to remove it for recycling. Rechargeable batteries go through a different recycling process than single-use batteries, according to Call2Recycle.

How to Recycle Old Tools: Get Creative

Some old, broken tools may still have life in them, you just have to get a little creative. For example, if you have a reciprocating saw that no longer works, take the blade and turn it into a marking knife. Have a chainsaw that needs repair or a rebuild? Here’s how to do it yourself!

Still unsure? Check with earth911 for answers on all types of recycling, including details on where to recycle old tools in your area.

Learn how to build a storage tower for your recycling bins.

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Learn how to decipher plastic recycling numbers.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham spent years working in newsrooms, for television and newspapers, and has won several awards for her writing. In 2015, she left her full-time job as a newspaper editor to focus on freelance writing and editing. She has been a Family Handyman contributor since 2017.
In 2019, Rachel lived through a major remodeling project on her home, and she uses that experience to inform her Family Handyman content. She's also an avid gardener (both native plants and vegetables), enjoys keeping up with decor trends and spends a lot of time traveling, cooking and hanging out with her family and their giant dog.