What To Do With An Old Toilet (Find Out Now!)

Kerry Souder
by Kerry Souder

Odds are, you’ve never really had to think about how to throw a toilet away. It’s not a project homeowners deal with on a regular basis, but it’s safe to say that it will happen at some point or another. The average lifespan of a toilet is 10 to 15 years. So, what can you do after that?

Depending on where you live, there are a variety of things you can do with an old toilet, including repurposing pieces of it to decorate your home, disassembling it for spare parts, recycling it through a local program, taking it to a transfer station, selling it to another homeowner, donating it to someone in need, and more.

The good news is these alternatives are mostly eco-friendly and easy on you as the homeowner, too. Learn more, so you can be ready to replace your old toilet.

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When to Replace an Old Toilet

There are many reasons to replace an old toilet. For starters, it may be at the end of its life and is no longer functioning as it should. You may also just want to switch to a more environmentally friendly option or want a new look for your space.

Whatever your reason is for installing a new toilet, you’re going to need to find a safe way to get rid of the old one. If you’re hiring a professional plumber, they’ll often take care of cleanup and disposal for an extra $30 to $50 on average. However, this isn’t the only option you have.

Safe Ways to Dispose of Your Old Toilet

Disposing of a toilet is completely different from throwing away anything else in your home. For starters, toilets are very heavy, so they need to be handled with care. Before you move it at all, you’ll have to empty all the water out of the tank. Before you start planning your project, consider what you can do with your old toilet.

Repurpose It

Your first instinct may be to recycle your old toilet, but there is actually so much more you can do with it! In fact, you can get creative by converting a discarded toilet into a wide range of things. The process is called upcycling. Here are some ideas for different parts of the toilet to get you started:

  • Decorations
  • Fish tanks
  • Canvases
  • Pet bowls
  • Alternative seating

Disassemble It

Instead of getting rid of the entire thing, consider breaking it down for extra parts to use in the future. Even on an old toilet, bolts, nuts, washers, hoses, flanges, and more can still make for useful backups in the case of any repair projects down the road.

Contact the Local Habitat for Humanity ReStore

The Habitat for Humanity program sells new and slightly used household items donated by local residents through their ReStores. All proceeds from these sales then go back to fund local building projects, which is better on the planet and the people living here, too. Get in touch with your local branch to see if your toilet qualifies for donation!

Sell or Donate It

If your old toilet is still functional, you can either sell It or donate it. Either way, this is a quick way to get it off your hands and ensure it’s getting the full value of its lifespan. Websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace are great places to start if you plan to sell unless you have a friend or family in mind. If money is not a necessity, donating your old toilet is also a great option.

Recycle It

There are a few different options when it comes to recycling an old toilet. For starters, you can drop it at a recycling center. You may be charged when dropping at certain centers, but you can usually call beforehand to get a quote.

You can also list your toilet with online recycling groups like Freecycle. These programs provide the locations of items that are available for free throughout your community. After getting in contact with the program, they will arrange a time to pick up the toilet, so it can be put to better use.

Call a Solid Waste Disposal Company

Call or visit your local solid waste disposal company to see if they offer curbside pickup. Since toilets are so large and heavy, many professionals require notice before picking it up. Try to remove any plumbing items before pickup to make the move easier on them. You can also see if throwing the toilet in a dumpster is acceptable.

Take it to a Transfer Station or Landfill

You may be able to take your toilet to a transfer station, or a facility that sorts through waste prior to sending to the various landfills. Just keep in mind a fee may be involved when handling it this way. This also isn’t the greatest option because it still has toilets ending up in the landfill, but they will at least be disposed of in a designated area for toilets.

Ways Not to Dispose of Your Old Toilet

While there are countless ways to get rid of an old toilet, there are a couple things you should avoid at all costs. This is due to both safety reasons and environmental ones, too. Fortunately, these are pretty easy to avoid, especially with so many better options out there:

  • Smash it into pieces
  • Drop it off in an undesignated area

Impacts of Improper Toilet Disposal

Disposing of your toilet incorrectly has repercussions not just on you but on the planet as a whole. Because of this, it’s important to think about if it’s worth being lazy and disposing of your toilet improperly.


Toilet bowls and seats are non-biodegradable, which means they’ll stay in landfills forever, never breaking down and polluting the planet until the end of time. This is why it’s so important for them to go through special disposal and recycling programs.


If your first thought was to have some fun and smash your toilet into little pieces before throwing it away, stop. Once broken, the pieces will be extremely sharp, posing a risk for you, but also for anyone that has to handle it once it has been tossed.


Improper disposal of an old toilet can lead to legal consequences depending on where you live. These can include fines, citations, and more. Instead of risking getting in trouble with the law, stick to the many other options you have for getting rid of your toilet.

Related Questions

How much does it cost to remove a toilet?

Typically, it costs between $70 and $150 to remove a toilet, including hauling it away and disposing of any debris.

How much does it cost to install a new toilet?

The average cost to install a toilet is approximately $615, including labor and materials. Costs will vary depending on the type of toilet you are installing and the overall complexity of the project.

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Do not try to dump your old toilet just anywhere. Not only can it be detrimental for the environment, but the act can also leave you with some hefty fines to pay or other legal consequences. Fortunately, there are so many safe and legal alternatives that will get your old toilet off your hands without negatively impacting the environment.

Kerry Souder
Kerry Souder

I am a copywriter and editor based in the Las Vegas area with nearly a decade of experience under my belt writing landing pages, cost guides, blog posts, newsletters, case studies, and social media content. I have a degree in Strategic Communication and experience working in both the account and creative spheres. My goal is to always be discovering new interests and bettering myself as a writer and editor along the way.

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