What to Do with an Old Treadmill? A Complete Guide

Everyone buys a treadmill to use as often as possible. If you maintain it properly, you can use it for a very long time. Nonetheless, as time goes by, you may want to upgrade to a piece of new fitness equipment. And like any other electrical equipment, treadmills get damaged or wear out over time. Either way, you want to know what to do with the old treadmill, right? 

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First, treadmills and other exercise equipment are heavy, large, and hard to move. This means that disposing of it will not be that simple. Also having an outdated machine in your gym or garage will end up taking a lot of space. 

Don’t get me wrong though! I’m not saying getting rid of your old piece of equipment is impossible. In this blog, I’ll show you what you can do with it. 

Let’s check out some of those options right away! 

1. Sell the Old Piece of Equipment

Buying a new piece of workout equipment is very costly. For this reason, most people are willing to purchase old/ used treadmills since they’re a bit cheaper. So, if your old machine is still in good condition, you can simply sell it at an attractive price. Set the price of the treadmill according to the age, condition, and brand of your treadmill.

Fortunately, there are many marketplaces you can use to achieve this. For instance, some people turn to social media platforms or auction websites. This will help you find a potential buyer fast, saving you time. 

I’ve got to warn you though! With new treadmills being released every day, selling an outdated one may take some time. Nonetheless, with enough effort, you’ll eventually find someone interested in second-hand treadmills. 

2. Recycle Old Treadmill 

Throwing your broken treadmill in a dumpster isn’t an eco-friendly approach. That’s because it contains non-biodegradable materials like steel and plastic. These components will end up in the nearby landfill and pollute land, air, and water for many years to come. 

So, why not use an environmental-friendly approach like recycling? That’s right! Recycling allows you to put metal, steel, and plastic parts from old treadmills into good use. In other words, you can recover the old parts and use them to produce many new materials and items. 

Apart from being eco-friendly, this approach will boost the national economy as well. For instance, it will help to sustain the existing jobs in the sustainable industry. 

How to Recycle Old Fitness Equipment

Disassemble the Treadmill 

The first thing you need to do is to take your machine apart. To accomplish this, you’ll need a drill to unscrew the screws. Once the machine comes apart, separate all the parts and pieces and gather them in solid boxes. 

After disassembling the equipment, you’ll get 5 major categories of treadmill accessories. They include; hard plastic pieces, running belts, metal components, electronics, and running board. 

That said, let’s check out each of these components and how you can recycle them!

A. Hard Plastic Pieces

The treadmill’s hard plastic pieces require the most effort to reuse or recycle. They make up the components surrounding your electronics and the handle grips. 

Avoid dumping these components into a dumpster as they end up in the landfill. Instead, look for a nearby plastic recycler that accepts hard plastics. Note, these types of recyclers are few. So, before you head out, contact them first and confirm if they accept the pieces. Better still, you can give them to other treadmill owners whose plastic parts have broken. 

B. Running Belt

Running belt is the part that directly contacts your feet while walking on running on a treadmill. If you’ve been using the treadmill for a long time, you have probably replaced it a few times. Also, you’ve to loosen it during maintenance for treadmill lubrication. 

Generally, running belts are very durable. More notably, they’re made up of different materials, making them a bit difficult to recycle. However, you can cut them into pieces and use them as a rugged workshop/ garage mat. Overall, you can use them in any area that requires a tough mat. 

C. Metal Components 

Most workout machines, including treadmills, contain several metal components. This includes tiny screws as well as metal support pieces. Also, if the treadmill is automatic, there’s a big motor, which makes the entire machine work. 

You can recycle these metal components at a nearby scrapyard. Alternatively, you can post them on online platforms to attract interested parties. 

D. Electronics 

Automatic treadmills have circuit boards and wiring under the display and control buttons. You can recycle these electrical components with other e-waste. 

For manual treadmills, the distance- and time-tracking monitor is powered by a battery. These systems should be recycled with the e-waste as well, 

E. Running Board

The running board is the large piece of plywood found below the treadmill’s running belt. You can reuse it to make a desk, table, shelving, or wall art. If the craft isn’t your thing, you can give it to an artist. 

3. Treadmill Donation 

If you don’t use your equipment anymore, donate treadmill to charity. That way, you can assist the less fortunate pursue their fitness goals. Moreover, this will encourage more people to exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle. This will save them from various diseases like obesity and heart disease. 

Another benefit of donating treadmills to charity is that it is tax-deductible. Even better, some non-profit institutions provide pickup services for treadmill donations. 

There is one issue with this option though! Where to donate treadmill? Provided your old equipment still works, here are some places you can donate it; 

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A. The Salvation Army

This is a Christian church that operates as a global charity organization. They have more than 1.5 million members globally. Also, they’ve charity shops, shelters, and social work programs in various countries. They aim to help the destitute and needy accomplish their spiritual as well as physical needs. 

So, if you want to donate an old treadmill, you can donate to the Salvation Army. This incredible initiative will ensure that the equipment reaches truly worthy individuals. However, if the treadmill doesn’t work anymore, or has a lot of scuffs/ dings they’ll not take it. 

B. Fitness 4 Charity

As the name suggests, this is a not-for-profit institution that promotes fitness. They accept donations of old workout equipment like weight benches and treadmills. Afterward, they give these pieces of equipment to people who can use them. To donate a treadmill to this organization, head to their website and fill out a donation form. 

C. Local Community Centers 

Many local community centers always welcome donations of various items including old treadmills. So, if you want to donate a treadmill, look out for donation centers in your area. Also, you can look for senior centers and near you. However, before you go to drop it off, ask if they accept treadmill donations first. 

D. Local Gym 

Lastly, you can donate the treadmill to a local gym that has limited workout equipment. This is a great way of ensuring the equipment is maintained properly. 

4. Give it to Someone 

Selling your treadmill online or donating it are not the only options you have. Instead, you can give it to friends, family members or even neighbors. If the machine has any problem, let the person you’re giving it to know about the issue beforehand. 

There are other techniques people use to give away old items for free. For instance, you can place the treadmill on your curb with the ‘FREE’ SIGN. That way, anyone who is interested in the equipment will pick it up. Even though this method is old-fashioned, it’s very effective and saves you both time and effort. 

Alternatively, you can post items you wish to give away on Craiglist or Nextdoor. People using such platforms will contact you if they’re interested in the equipment. From here, you can make arrangements on how they’ll correct the treadmill. 

5. Hire Treadmill Disposal and Removal Services

If your exercise equipment is broken beyond repair, you can’t sell or donate it. So, why not haul/ junk it away? This process involves hiring a junk removal company since they know how to get rid of a treadmill. 

Junk removal companies have various ways of making the machine useful. For instance, they can take to the nearest recycling center. Also, they can break it down and scrap it for metal. 

Another advantage is that most junk removal firms offer pick-up services. This means that they’ll remove the treadmill from your house at a reasonable fee. Therefore, you don’t have to do any type of heavy lifting. Moreover, it's among the fastest and easiest options for disposing of old exercise equipment. 

FAQs

1. Can you scrap an old treadmill? 

Yes! Treadmills have several metal components, screws, and support pieces. Also, most modern machines are powered by a motor, which contains metal parts as well. You can take these components to the local scrap yard for recycling. 

2. How long do treadmills last? 

According to manufacturers, a treadmill has an average life of about 10 years. However, if you lubricating its belt regularly and proper maintenances will extend its longevity.

3. Is an old treadmill worth anything? 

Second-hand devices still have excellent value, especially if they’re in good condition. This usually applies to models from reputable brands like ProForm, NordicTrack or Bowflex. 

4. What’s the best way to dispose a broken treadmill? 

Hiring a local junk removal company is the easiest and safest method to get rid of broken treadmills. Alternatively, you can call a nearby recycling center to pick it up, especially if it’s heavy. 

5. Does Goodwill take treadmills? 

Goodwill doesn’t accept donations of used treadmills anymore. If you’re still uncertain, contact the nearby Goodwill store and ask if they’ll accept it.

Conclusion

Disposing of a treadmill isn't simple, especially considering how large some models can be. However, with the right ideas on what to do with the old treadmill, getting rid of it will be much easier. Thankfully, I’ve listed some of the best options you can use above. That way, your old equipment doesn’t have to gather dust or take up space in your garage or gym. Instead, choose the best method for you and get rid of it today! 

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