Where do old treadmills go to die?

My treadmill is broken. It could be repaired ─ for six hundred dollars. It would be less expensive if I bought the parts and did it myself, but I can’t even write that without laughing. So now what?

If I bought a new treadmill or some other piece of exercise equipment from Sears, they would deliver it and cart away the old one. But I don’t want a new one. I pay forty dollars a month to a local gym and I work out with a trainer every other week. The last thing I want to do is spend more money on exercise.

Our guest room has doubled as a gym since the treadmill moved in. Andrew thinks its presence detracts from the room’s feng shui. However, company always politely comments on how convenient it is to hang clothes on, though I suspect they’d rather have space in the closet. I wouldn’t mind reclaiming the space myself. The problem is figuring out where old treadmills go to die.

Even if I could put it out on the curb for the garbage truck, which I’m fairly certain the town would frown on, I don’t think Andrew and I could carry it downstairs ourselves. And I am green enough to want to recycle it. It has been suggested that I take it apart and offer the electronic parts to a tinkerer’s studio. Taking it apart doesn’t seem much easier to me than fixing it myself, although thinking about it isn’t as comical.

I looked at the web site for the service Got Junk. They let you schedule a pickup online, which is very convenient. I know it costs something because they offer ten dollars off if you schedule for that day, but nowhere do they tell you what that cost is. Wouldn’t it be amusing if it turned out to be six hundred dollars?

I offered the treadmill online for free, thinking some hardy do-it-yourself-er would be interested in the challenge. Instead I heard from several other people facing the same predicament. If I could figure out how to get rid of my own treadmill, I could start a small business doing it for others.

I could try to do something creative with it, right where it sits. I could turn it into a plant stand, rewire it and make it a lamp, paint it in neon colors and call it an art installation. Those solutions would merely postpone the inevitable, because at the end of the day, it would still be a big, heavy, awkward piece of equipment. The advantage would be that in another twenty or thirty years, I could pass the problem along to my daughter. Hmm. I think I have some paint in the basement.


17 responses to “Where do old treadmills go to die?

  1. I probably shouldn’t mention that you can walk outside on the streets for free…

    I hate getting rid of things that are just a little broken. We have such a throwaway society now. I wonder where all the desks went when schools decided students needed to sit at tables. And where will all those tables go when a study says students should sit at desks.

    A few years ago, I got rid of 2 perfectly good TV’s because cable channels went higher than the TV’s old capability. One was a SONY I got for my 16th birthday and it still had a perfect picture.

    If you bring a DVD player to be repaired, they’ll tell you to buy a new one because it’s cheaper. But throwing away a DVD player is easier than getting rid of a treadmill.

  2. I just went through this with my elliptical. I posted it on Craigslist in the Free section, and said it was broken, but maybe somebody handy would want it… and I got several responses. A very nice older couple came over, took it apart and put it in their SUV to take it home and rebuild it. They wanted “his and hers” ellipticals.

  3. My advice is obvious: hire someone to take it to the dump, that is, the local transfer station. It’ll cost you, but the relief of getting rid of an unwanted object will be worth it. Some stuff recycles, some stuff doesn’t, and one just has to live with that.
    Meanwhile, I’m looking for a stationery bicycle for rehab after knee surgery. Any thoughts on that–like, how will we get rid of it, once we no longer want/need it, or it has a terminal breakdown?

    • As my friend, Janet, suggested, I may offer the treadmill for free on Craigslist. It’s probably a good place to go to find a stationary bicycle, too. Then you can pass it along the same way you got it. I’ll let you know if it works.

  4. I vote for A List or Craigs list for free… Or make it into a lamp

  5. A lamp? Do you have birthday coming up?

  6. http://www.freecycle.org/ is another good alternative.

  7. If you are still willing, I may be willing to take it off your hands, granted you don’t live too far away. I’m an electrical tinkerer myself, and an old treadmill would be perfect for my next project!

  8. I have a treadmill, but I don’t want it and have no idea what to do with it. I’m going to stay up till 3am so I can try to bargain with the trash company to take it with them :/

  9. I was in need of a way to get rid of my old treadmill… I have an answer call ur local metal scrapyard that buys metal I did it they told me to just bring it in whole I didn’t have to take it apart or anything and youll get a few pocket dollars too!

  10. Play it again, second hand equipment store, will take your broken treadmill, but you have to get it to them. :(. I thought of paying a couple of teenagers to help us get it to our truck…

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