by Mark Garcia February 18, 2014
Swimming pool equipment replacement doesn't have to mean adding to the local landfill, many items that are no longer needed can be recycled or repurposed. Some of the metals used in pool pumps, filters and heaters can be sold to scrap yards for cash.
You can also post used, but functional pool equipment for sale on websites like craigslist or ebay, or find your own replacement pool equipment on the cheap.
Here's a rundown of the various items that may no longer be useful to others, and their suitability for recycling, repurposing or selling for scrap.
Vinyl pool liners and automatic pool covers or solid safety covers made from reinforced vinyl. Scraps of vinyl could be used for covering a wood pile, but if there is no other use for it, you can recycle it - roll it up and put it in your big blue can, or haul it to your local recycling facility. Vinyl is a highly sought after material by recyclers, and it can be repurposed into dozens of products.
Motors, filter tanks, pool heaters, copper plumbing, pool lights, pool ladders. There's less metal being used on modern pools, but still a fair amount that can be reused. Dead motors can be rebuilt, or recycled into scrap metal. Stainless steel filter tanks and copper pool heater heat exchangers do have some value to metal scrap yards. Bronze heater headers and bronze pump bodies also have scrap value, as does copper pipe and fittings. Coated steel or galvanized steel and other mixed metals can be recycled at most county landfills.
Pool slides, sand filter tanks. These are not normally recycled by most landfill operators, but they could be of value to another person, if they are not cracked. Placing a FREE ad in Craigslist will usually bring a lot of replies for a sand filter tank or pool slide that can be rebuilt. Slides can be re-used at lakes or rivers, and uncracked fiberglass filter tanks could be given new life with a new valve and internals. Cracked tanks can be patched or cut, and converted to large bins, containers or planters.
Pool Covers and Solar Blankets are made from PE and LDPE (low density polyethylene). There's a site called Repurposed Materials that lists tons of uses for used swimming pool covers, solar blankets and safety covers. In fact they sell them ~ so, they must buy them too! There are lots of options for repurposing a pool cover, but if you don't have a use for it, you could always post a FREE listing on Craigslist, and then set it out in a box in front of your house - it won't be there long. Solid pool covers that are clean and in good shape may be useful to Habitat for Humanity, a local Boy Scout troop, or construction business - or another pool owner!
Pipes and Valves, pool pumps and some filter tanks are made from these heavy duty thermoplastics. PVC pipes have some of the most interesting upcycle potential, as this pinterest board shows. Although PVC may be recycled at many facilities, ABS plastic, an impact resistant and very dense plastic is not accepted for recycling at many landfills. ABS is used in many valves, filter tanks, chlorinators and pool pumps. Check with your local government websites, or call to see if PVC and ABS recycling is available in your area.
Chlorine or biguanides, acids and algaecides are the most hazardous items. Also you may have clarifiers, enzymes, or bottles that are so old you can no longer even read the label. Don't stockpile old pool chemicals, it's best to add them to the pool if possible - but if you've switched sanitzers, or somehow have more pool chemicals than you'll ever need - most landfills will have the ability to accept your pool chemicals. Most pool chemicals are considered 'household chemicals' , but chlorines and acids are probably considered 'haz mats'. Your landfill may have a hazardous chemical disposal day once or twice per year, or be equipped to handle it all year around.
Thanks for Reading!