What happens to old power tools when they stop working? A good quality power tool (when properly cared for) will give you years of service, but there will come a time when you need to say goodbye. But what should you do with old power tools that you no longer need?
Recycling Your Old Power Tools
While most components of your power tools are recyclable, you cannot simply put them into your household recycling bin. So what are your options?
- Contact your local council to find out the location of your nearest recycling centre. The dangerous materials contained in the tool's charging unit and rechargeable battery means that old power tools are recycled using a different process than standard household recyclables. This is in part due to highly toxic nickel cadmium, which is found in rechargeable batteries. The batteries can be safely recycled as well, just so long as it is delivered to an appropriate recycling facility.
- Get in touch with the power tool's manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer a free take-back service regardless of the age of the device. You would be directed to one of the manufacturer's outlets or authorised repair centres. The tool will be dismantled and safely recycled. It's the same process as taking the old power tool to a council recycling centre, but it might be more convenient to deliver it back to the manufacturer.
- Store the power tool until such time as your local council offers kerbside collection for non-standard waste. This is the rubbish collection day where you will see a lot of old furniture and electronics waiting for collection in your neighbourhood. This is also the day when e-waste items (such as power tools) will be accepted and sent to an appropriate recycling facility. Contact your local council to find out the next date for this type of kerbside collection.
Giving Away for Old Power Tools
If the power tools in question are still in good working order, then it can be nice to give them away to organisations that will get some use for them. Consider taking them to a charity shop for resale. Ensure that the tools are still functional, and that they pose no danger to the operator. This means that something like a frayed power cord can render a tool unsuitable for donation.
While good power tools will last for a great deal of time, it's important to know what to do when that time comes to an end.