Whether used at a gym or in your own home; a treadmill is a great static running machine to keep you fit and healthy. If you are fortunate enough to own one, you'll know they can be costly. So when it gets to that fateful day when your treadmill can run no longer; what's the best thing to do?
At the bottom of this page is a great video on how to dismantle your treadmill; also how to transform some of its parts into useful tools and gadgets.
What can I do with an old treadmill?
There are loads of great options of what to do with your old treadmill. Try and find a way to sell, donate or upcycle it before discarding it to waste.
If it still works, it's definitely worth giving it a new home. You could offer it up to someone you know, look to sell it online or donate it to charity.
Treadmills are generally pretty bulky and not at all easy to move. If you are looking to pass it on to a new home, it's time to get out the instruction manual. Make sure you're able to disassemble and reassemble the machine at its new location.
However, if your treadmill no longer works don't worry. There are still plenty of other sustainable options to choose from. You could try to fix, breaking it down for parts, upcycle or recycling it. There is no need for any of your treadmill to go to waste.
What to do with a broken treadmill
Here are some ideas of what you can do with your broken treadmill:
- Get it fixed. Always try to get more use out of it before just automatically deciding to get a new one. Even if you don't want to keep it, maybe someone else will be able to fix it. So make sure to offer it a second life first.
- Upcycling. Why not use its parts to make something new. A treadmill contains some really useful and sometimes expensive parts. For example the motor can be used to power something brand new.
- Recycling. Almost all of your treadmill is recyclable. So once broken down, it can be taken to a recycling centre and each part put with its respective materials.
How to recycle or upcycle a treadmill
This is the part where you get your hands dirty. Grab your tools and the instruction manual and let's get to work.
Whether you want to upcycle or recycle your treadmill, first you will need to take it apart. A treadmill is made up of various materials; some may be more useful than others.
Go straight for the motor. This is by far the most useful part of the treadmill and can be easily repurposed. On a standard treadmill it's the part that's of most value, if it still works of course. Motors can be used for a whole host of things (See video below). If it no longer works, take it to a recycling centre.
The running belt is a tricky one when it comes to recycling. The belt will either be fully made of rubber or have an under layer. This could be made from a material such as polyester or cotton then coated in rubber. Rubber is recyclable, but it can be hard to find places that will accept it. Check your local recycling centre. Mixed material belts on the other hand will unfortunately have to be put in with the general waste.
How about upcycling the belt instead? The rubber is a great non slip surface and would be perfect used as a matt. Or cut it up and use it under the feet of furniture to stop it slipping or marking the floor.
The remaining bits of the treadmill are plastic, metal and wood. These bits can also be useful to have. The wooden base running board, screws and metal fame work can all be repurposed. Or they can all be recycled at your local centre.
If you're not much a DIYer, there is definitely someone out there that will be. Offer or advertise your treadmill either whole or as parts to someone you know or online. They may be able to find a use for the parts. Or give it to your local scrap merchant; he will know exactly what to do with it.
The video below will show you how to successfully scavenge the useful parts from your old treadmill. And some awesome ideas as to what you can turn them into.