Last Updated on January 14, 2021 by Lynda Stevens
Non-biodegradable urinals, toilets, and toilet seats are some of the items that commonly end up in landfills. In the United States, more than 7 million toilets go into landfills every year. That’s not good for the environment. If you are planning a bathroom remodel but not sure of what to do with your old toilet, you’ll be happy to know that there are several eco-friendly disposal options out there to help you find a new home for your old John.
Toilets, like other fittings in your home, eventually succumb to wear and tear and need to be replaced over time. Sometimes homeowners are just looking to upgrade to a newer, more comfortable model. Either way, you need to get rid of an old toilet safely instead of taking it to the dump site where it becomes permanent landfill waste. In most cases, the only way to dispose of an old toilet is to recycle it or upcycle/repurpose it.
Recycling an Old Toilet
Recycling is the process of converting waste material into reusable products. What would otherwise be thrown away as trash is broken down and reused? By decreasing the need for conventional waste disposal, recycling helps lower greenhouse gas emissions and clean up the earth. Many items, including old toilets, can be recycled. In fact, recycling is the best way to dispose of old toilets. Here are a few ideas to help you recycle an old toilet:
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
If you want to get rid of a gently used toilet that’s still in good condition, you can donate it to a local Habitat ReStore. The Habitat for Humanity program is a group of retail centers that sell new and slightly used home items. Proceeds from the sale of donated items are used to fund local building projects. The Habitat for Humanity has stores in both Canada and the United States. You may have to call your local store to ask if they accept old toilets.
Toilet Recycling Program
Some local authorities have recycling programs where they crush porcelain used to make toilets, mix it with concrete, and use the mixture to build sidewalks and roads. Check with your city to see if there’s a recycling program involving toilets. Your local solid waste company can be very resourceful when it comes to finding toilet recycling programs in your area. You may have to remove non-porcelain materials such as bolts and the seat to prepare the toilet for recycling.
Take It Apart for Parts
You can break your old toilet down for parts that you can use for other projects. Components such as valves, washers, bolts, nuts, elbows, and hoses can be very useful in the event of other toilets in your home breaking down. Parts such as the flapper and the handle can be retrofitted onto other toilet models.
Sell or Give It Away
Finally, selling or giving away your old toilet is another safe way to get rid of it. List the toilet in your local newspaper or on Craigslist and you might be surprised at the number of people looking for a good deal on the toilet. If you are having trouble finding a buyer, consider giving it away to someone who could really use a working toilet no matter what it looks like. Selling or giving away an old toilet is a great way to find a new home for it.
Upcycling an Old Toilet
If recycling your old toilet is not an option, you can still repurpose it. Upcycling, also known as creative reuse, is the process of converting old or discarded items into something more useful and beautiful. Upcycling grants an item a better purpose. If you are feeling a bit creative and want to repurpose your old toilet, here are a few ideas to try out:
Sculptures and Wall Hangings
You can use the toilet seat or lid as a canvas for an upcoming painting project. You can also use the seat as a photo frame you can use to hand beautiful pictures in your home. Using the toilet in an upcoming project can also be a promising idea for sculptors in your home.
The back of an old toilet can easily be turned into a fish tank; all you need to pull it off is just a little plumbing know-how. You can use the bowl to store cleaning supplies or fish food. Making a home for your finned friends from the back of a toilet is a great use for an old toilet.
To turn an old toilet into a pet bowl, all you need to do is clean and sanitize the toilet and remove the tank. Stop up open areas and pour drinking water into the bowl for your pets. Make sure that the bowl is full so that large dogs don’t have to lean so far to quench their thirst.
Did you know that you can even turn an old toilet into a chair? Simply clean the toilet, glue the seat and the lid down securely, and repaint it to match your décor. Consider adding wheels to make the seats easy to move. You can use the repurposed toilet like any other chair in your home office, den, or living room.
Last but not least, you can repurpose an old toilet to create a beautiful flower pot in your backyard. You can plant your flowers of choice and greenery in the repurposed toilet. Just fill the base of the toilet as well as the tank with potting soil and you are good to go. Use pieces of glass and tiles to dress up the outside of your new planter with a mosaic pattern.
There are plenty of reasons to replace a toilet. It could be that your old toilet is uncomfortable or doesn’t work properly. Maybe you just want to replace it with a smart toilet. That’s right; smart devices are now moving to the bathroom. Whatever the reason, disposal is always a challenge whenever you have to replace an old or broken toilet. Use our toilet recycling and upcycling ideas to solve this problem. Check out our other useful guides here.