How to Dispose of Your Old Toilet or Re-Use it

December 11, 2011 14 comments View all articles in Re-Use-It

Here at ChasingGreen, we're always trying to help our readers put the 3R's mantra into practice. We've already told you which toilets are the most water-saving and eco-friendly with our “ How to Practice Water Efficiency and Conservation with Your Toilet” article. But we didn't tell you what you're supposed to do with the old models after you've replaced them. It might surprise you to know that there are disposal options available for toilets besides taking them to the dump, where they accumulate permanent landfill waste.


The best way to dispose of old toilets is to recycle them. Recycling facilities usually crush the porcelain and turn it into concrete for roads or sidewalks.

  • This can be done by first contacting your city's recycling center or water conservation office and asking if such a recycling program exists.
  • You can also look in the yellow pages under "Recycle" and "Concrete."
  • You'll then need to find out from your solid waste service provider if you need to bring your old toilet to a specific facility or if they provide a curbside pick-up.
  • If curbside pick-up is available, you may want to smash the toilet before setting it out, as this will ensure that no one else tries to use it.
  • To prepare your old toilet for recycling, you may have to disassemble it and remove any non-porcelain parts such as the seat and bolt valves, etc.
  • You should also ask your city's solid waste service provider if they have a program in place where you can exchange your old, inefficient toilet for a new, high-efficiency toilet.


If you're feeling creative and want to re-use your old toilet, here are a few ideas you can put to use:

  • Use the tank as a vase for flowers or greenery. Maybe it's just the thing to spruce up your greenhouse, porch, or back deck.
  • Fill the bowl with dirt and plant flower seeds inside to have your own outdoor planter.
  • If you're skilled with a soldering iron or welder, you could use an old toilet as part of your conceptual statue!
  • Cover the seat with padding and turn your old toilet into an actual chair.
  • Fill the bowl with briquettes, cover the seat with a grill, and you've got your own backyard, low-budget barbeque!
  • Fill the bowl with ice and bottles of beer or soda at your next backyard shindig.

(Photo: Steve's Soapbox)


Tanmanski on Nov. 8, 2014 at 7:41 a.m.

Hey grab me a beer out of that nasty stained old toilet bowl would Ya? NOT!

TimJ on April 5, 2015 at 1:23 p.m.

Yeah seriously. Who is going to eat from a used toilet BBQ grill? I understand the need to recycle, but there are just some lines that are ridiculous when crossed. Toilets used for anything other than a toilet is just...yeah. Look, I'll call the city and have them use it for concrete end of story. Stop being a pretentious green jerk.

Nowaaay on July 8, 2015 at 6:06 p.m.

Because those toilet planters are, not really.

Donna on Jan. 24, 2016 at 8:24 a.m.

Hahahahaha! As a planter, it looks pretty cool, if your looking for something different! Personally, I wouldn't have the nerve. Lol

cc on April 5, 2016 at 4:10 p.m.

Hilarious suggestions. Love it!

amused on April 18, 2016 at 3:17 p.m.

This is the most ridiculous website on the Internet!

Meighan Burgess on June 15, 2016 at 8:37 p.m.

I found this helpful actually! If my recycle center won't recycle them, we'll probably take them to the cabin, bury the bottom half of the bowl and use them for planters. Come on people, it's about recycling and keeping stuff out of landfills :)

Sheila Springs on Aug. 2, 2016 at 8:13 p.m.

Has anyone who has used an old toilet as a planter box been sued? I have a friend whose neighbor has taken her to court. If so how did you defend your actions? Thanks.

Kumb on Sept. 24, 2016 at 11:22 p.m.

Another option is to use it as a mini water tank. Serves the purpose of conserving water too.

dwight on Jan. 12, 2017 at 11:06 a.m.

ohhh ya and if you want u can fill it with fruit juice and alcohol for a cute little punch bowl..... lol come on now im all for green but agreed with people above , bbq and cooler is a little much lol

phil on March 20, 2017 at 2:39 p.m.

My neighbors put their old toilet in the yard, presumably as decorative, maybe awaiting some plants. It looks so redneck, I'm sure that my home value just dropped.

EA Mullins on June 5, 2017 at 8:47 a.m.

I like the chair idea...I'm gonna maxke some and put them on Etsy!

Karen on July 25, 2017 at 8:17 a.m.

Well I live at a conservation site and I'm all for recycling my bog will be brimming with lovely trailing sweet smelling plants,which is more than I can say about this poor planet if everyone had the attitude of bin it......where do you think all your rubbish goes and do you really care,well your children will and there children.Dont be so bloody selfish and use your imagination for a change,let's get creative.🤗🤗🤗🤗

Woodrow on Oct. 15, 2018 at 7:25 a.m.

Dude, y'all are crazy. Toilet as a cooler. You have to be kidding. I hate waste more than anyone but, if you are going to go digging in your 20-year old toilet for a refreshing beverage. Just no.

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