How to Dispose of Your Old Toilet or Re-Use it

December 11, 2011 View all articles in Re-Use-It

Here at ChasingGreen, we're always trying to help our readers put the 3R's mantra into practice. We've already told you which toilets are the most water-saving and eco-friendly with our “ How to Practice Water Efficiency and Conservation with Your Toilet” article. But we didn't tell you what you're supposed to do with the old models after you've replaced them. It might surprise you to know that there are disposal options available for toilets besides taking them to the dump, where they accumulate permanent landfill waste.

RECYCLE YOUR OLD TOILET

The best way to dispose of old toilets is to recycle them. Recycling facilities usually crush the porcelain and turn it into concrete for roads or sidewalks.

  • This can be done by first contacting your city's recycling center or water conservation office and asking if such a recycling program exists.
  • You can also look in the yellow pages under "Recycle" and "Concrete."
  • You'll then need to find out from your solid waste service provider if you need to bring your old toilet to a specific facility or if they provide a curbside pick-up.
  • If curbside pick-up is available, you may want to smash the toilet before setting it out, as this will ensure that no one else tries to use it.
  • To prepare your old toilet for recycling, you may have to disassemble it and remove any non-porcelain parts such as the seat and bolt valves, etc.
  • You should also ask your city's solid waste service provider if they have a program in place where you can exchange your old, inefficient toilet for a new, high-efficiency toilet.

RE-USE YOUR OLD TOILET

If you're feeling creative and want to re-use your old toilet, here are a few ideas you can put to use:

  • Use the tank as a vase for flowers or greenery. Maybe it's just the thing to spruce up your greenhouse, porch, or back deck.
  • Fill the bowl with dirt and plant flower seeds inside to have your own outdoor planter.
  • If you're skilled with a soldering iron or welder, you could use an old toilet as part of your conceptual statue!
  • Cover the seat with padding and turn your old toilet into an actual chair.
  • Fill the bowl with briquettes, cover the seat with a grill, and you've got your own backyard, low-budget barbeque!
  • Fill the bowl with ice and bottles of beer or soda at your next backyard shindig.

(Photo: Steve's Soapbox)

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