Proper Petrol Lawn Mower Disposal

petrol lawn mower

Each time we have to part ways with a favoured tool, it’s a bittersweet moment. On one hand, it served us well for years and is now in its last moments of service. On the other hand, though, once it’s gone, you get to play with its shiny-new replacement! First, though, you have to properly get rid of the tool. So today, we’re talking about the proper disposal of everyone’s favourite tool – a petrol lawn mower.

So what’s on the docket for the day?

Today’s Topics Include:

Now let’s get going, shall we?

Petrol & Lawn Mower Disposal 101

petrol lawn mower engine

Proper disposal of a lawn mower is vital to the health of our environment. Petrol, and the engines it powers, can be incredibly damaging to the planet, and as such, it’s vital that we do our part in properly recycling and disposing of our old tools.

So how exactly do we do that? Let’s answer a few questions. Be sure to check out our lawn mower maintenance article and our electric vs. petrol mower article for more useful tips and tricks!

Can I Put a Petrol Lawn Mower in a Skip?

This is a complicated answer to a seemingly simple question. Petrol lawn mowers (in the U.K.) are able to be sent to a skip for scrap metal collection. However, the oil and residue in your lawn mower is incredibly bad for both the environment and the actual disposal process. When plastics and metals are contaminated by petrol or oil, they become unrecyclable.

So in short, yes, you can put a petrol lawn mower in a skip for collection. First, though, you’ll need to thoroughly clean and drain the mower of all oil and petrol.

It’s worth noting that electric lawn mowers are classified as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment). This essentially boils down to anything with a battery being considered too hazardous for recycling or a landfill, meaning you’ll need to hire a specialised service to properly dispose of the device.

Where to Dispose of a Petrol Lawn Mower

First off, it’s important to remember that your mileage will vary on this answer depending on where you live. If you’re in the U.K., these answers are for you. If you’re a Yank (or pretty much anyone else) I highly recommend you check with your local officials.

There are a number of extremely specific recycling and waste disposal laws across the globe that will vary by jurisdiction, and nobody wants a hefty fine because they didn’t do their homework.

Those in the U.K. can dispose of lawn mowers at all household waste recycling centres free of charge. If it’s still usable, it can be donated for reuse, and if it’s damaged beyond use, it will be scrapped and recycled.

How Do I Dispose of Petrol From My Lawn Mower?

Petrol cans

I mentioned above that petrol and oil can wreak havoc on the environment if improperly disposed of. So how exactly do you properly dispose of petrol from a lawn mower?

Once again, this information is for those in the U.K. – if you aren’t from the Isles, you’ll need to double-check with your local government.

According to the North London Waste Authority (NLWA), small quantities of petrol (smaller than 5 litres) can be placed in the oil container in a north London reuse and recycling centre (RRC). Quantities of petrol larger than 5 litres must be brought to the City of London Hazardous Waste Service (free of charge, no worries).

Check out the London Fire Brigade‘s guide to petrol storage and their services for more information.

What Can I Do With an Old Lawn Mower Engine?

petrol lawn mower engine repair

If you feel that just giving up a perfectly good engine is absurd, you’re not alone. People across the globe have had the same thought and conjured up countless unique uses for an old lawn mower engine.

Here are a few examples:

  • Build a generator:
    • This is definitely for the mechanically inclined, but so are the other options here. Check out this video to get an idea of how to get started on a small-engine generator.
  • Create an air compressor:
  • Use it as a secondary (or primary) engine for your boat, go-kart, or more:
    • While lawn mower engines are certainly not the most powerful ones on the market, they can be (if in great condition) repurposed as an engine for a boat, small go-kart, or even something like a motorised bike.

No matter what you choose to do with your old lawn mower engine, be sure to check with your local government. It’s always best to ensure you won’t get slapped with a hefty fee rather than suffer. Many areas prohibit the reuse of an engine on things like bicycles or have strict regulations on emissions. So do your homework or, you know, hide your work well.


All in all, there are a few key things to know when disposing of a petrol lawn mower or its engine. Your engine can be repurposed into a number of things. Additionally, they’re also (usually) recyclable or able to be scrapped with a skip or similar service. Check with your local government for tips on disposal – you may find that there are cheap (or outright free) options that take minimal effort on your part!

And if you want to get creative, use that old engine to power a boat, electric bike, generator, or air compressor (to name only a few of the numerous uses you’ll find with some ingenuity). Just be sure to properly dispose of both the oil and petrol in your engine before recycling or reusing it – trust me.