10 Tips on How to Get Rid of Portable Generator

By Alex McGill

Ready to bid farewell to your portable generator? Knowing how to get rid of portable generator is crucial for both convenience and environmental responsibility. In this informative guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to safely and responsibly dispose of your portable generator. 

From checking local regulations to exploring options like selling, donating, recycling, or proper disposal methods, we’ve got you covered. Say goodbye to your portable generator with confidence, knowing that you’re making a positive impact and protecting the environment.

Critical Findings

  • Preparation for disposal includes draining fuel, removing hazardous materials, disconnecting wires, and removing components.
  • Finding an appropriate disposal location is important and may require additional documentation.
  • Careful disposal of remaining fuel is necessary to comply with environmental regulations.
  • Research local recycling options or contact the manufacturer for guidance on disposing of hazardous materials.

What is a Portable Generator and How it Works?

A portable generator is a compact and movable power solution that converts fuel, such as gasoline or propane, into electricity. Unlike stationary generators, which are typically installed permanently, portable generators are mobile and can be easily transported to different locations. This flexibility makes them ideal for camping trips, outdoor events, or as a backup power source during emergencies.

Portable generators typically come equipped with essential features such as multiple power outlets, circuit breakers, and fuel gauges. Some advanced models may include inverter technology for stable and clean power output, ensuring the safe operation of sensitive electronics like laptops and smartphones.

At the core of a portable generator is an internal combustion engine that drives an alternator to generate electricity. The process begins with the combustion of fuel within the engine, creating mechanical energy. This energy is then converted into electrical energy through the alternator, which produces an electric current. The generated electricity is channeled through outlets on the generator, allowing users to connect their devices or appliances.

How to Get Rid of Portable Generator

How To Get Rid Of Portable Generator?

When it comes time to part ways with your portable generator, it’s essential to follow proper disposal procedures to ensure both environmental and personal safety. Here’s how to get rid of a portable generator:

  1. Check Local Regulations:
    • Before you begin, research and understand the local regulations and guidelines for the disposal of electronic equipment and hazardous materials in your area.
  2. Disconnect Fuel Source:
    • Begin by disconnecting the fuel source from the generator. This may involve running the generator until it is out of fuel or safely draining any remaining fuel.
  3. Remove Oil and Coolant:
    • Drain the generator’s oil and coolant according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This is crucial for preventing environmental contamination.
  4. Detach Batteries:
    • If your generator has a battery, disconnect and remove it. Batteries may contain hazardous materials and should be disposed of separately.
  5. Consult Manufacturer Guidelines:
    • Refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines for any specific instructions on disposal. Some companies provide recommendations or even take back their products for proper disposal.
  6. Local Recycling Centers:
    • Contact local recycling centers or electronic waste disposal facilities. Many areas have designated locations for dropping off electronic equipment for proper recycling.
  7. Professional Disposal Services:
    • Consider hiring professional disposal services that specialize in electronic waste. They can ensure that the generator is recycled or disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.
  8. Document Disposal:
    • Keep records of the disposal process, including any receipts or certificates provided by recycling facilities. This documentation may be required for compliance purposes.
  9. Sell or Donate (if applicable):
    • If your generator is still in working condition, explore options for selling or donating it. This extends the product’s lifecycle and minimizes waste.
  10. Educate Others:
    • Share information about proper generator disposal with friends and community members. Promoting responsible disposal practices helps create a more environmentally conscious society.

Remember, the proper disposal of your portable generator ensures that its components are handled safely and responsibly, contributing to a cleaner and healthier environment.

How to Get Rid of Portable Generator

Let’s discuss the whole disposal process of portable generators in more detail.

Check Local Regulations

Before embarking on the process of getting rid of your portable generator, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the local regulations governing the disposal of electronic equipment and hazardous materials in your area. Each locality may have specific rules regarding the proper handling and disposal of generators, and adhering to these guidelines is essential for environmental protection and legal compliance.

Key Considerations:

  • Research: Conduct thorough research to identify the specific regulations applicable to electronic waste disposal in your region.
  • Compliance with Laws: Ensure that you are in compliance with local laws to avoid potential fines or penalties associated with improper disposal.
  • Documentation: Keep any relevant documentation or permits obtained during the disposal process, as this may be required for verification purposes.

By taking the time to understand and adhere to your local regulations, you contribute to a responsible and environmentally conscious approach to getting rid of your portable generator.

Disconnect Fuel Source

The next crucial step in the process of disposing of a portable generator is to disconnect its fuel source. This ensures the safe handling of potentially hazardous materials and minimizes the risk of environmental contamination. Here’s how to go about it:

  1. Run Generator Until Empty: If possible, run the generator until it is out of fuel. This reduces the amount of fuel that needs to be managed during the disposal process.
  2. Drain Remaining Fuel: If the generator cannot be run empty, carefully drain any remaining fuel into an approved container. Use appropriate safety measures, such as wearing protective gear and working in a well-ventilated area.
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It is worth mentioning that during the fuel disconnection process, avoid any potential sources of sparks, open flames, or electrical equipment to prevent accidents. Moreover, ensure that the container used for collecting drained fuel is approved for flammable liquids and is in good condition.

By disconnecting the fuel source responsibly, you contribute to a safer disposal process and minimize the environmental impact associated with the handling of hazardous materials. Always prioritize safety and follow manufacturer guidelines during this step.

Properly draining the oil and coolant from your portable generator is a crucial step in the disposal process. This not only ensures the responsible management of potentially harmful substances but also prevents environmental contamination. Here’s a detailed guide on how to proceed:

  1. Consult the Manual: Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions on draining oil and coolant. Different generators may have varying procedures.
  2. Identify Drain Plugs: Locate the drain plugs for both the oil and coolant. These are typically positioned on the bottom of the generator and are accessible with the appropriate tools.
  3. Use Safety Gear: Wear protective gear, including gloves and safety glasses, to safeguard yourself from any contact with the substances.
  4. Drain Oil First: Position an oil pan beneath the oil drain plug, then carefully remove the plug. Allow the oil to drain completely.
  5. Drain Coolant: Similarly, position a container beneath the coolant drain plug, remove the plug, and let the coolant drain out.

It is worth mentioning to take the drained oil and coolant to a recycling center or a facility that accepts hazardous waste. Avoid pouring these substances down drains or into the environment. Moreover, be cautious to prevent any oil or coolant from coming into contact with the soil, as these substances can be harmful to the environment.

By following these steps, you not only adhere to proper disposal practices but also contribute to environmental preservation by responsibly managing potentially harmful fluids from your generator.

Detach Batteries

When disposing of a portable generator, it’s essential to pay special attention to the battery. Batteries can contain hazardous materials, and proper removal is crucial for both safety and environmental reasons. Here’s how to detach the battery:

  1. Locate the Battery: Identify the location of the battery on your generator. Refer to the user manual if needed for guidance.
  2. Turn Off Generator: Ensure the generator is turned off before attempting to remove the battery. This prevents electrical accidents during the process.
  3. Use Appropriate Tools: Depending on the design, you may need screwdrivers or wrenches to loosen and remove the battery connections.
  4. Disconnect Negative Terminal First: Start by disconnecting the negative terminal (-) of the battery. This minimizes the risk of electrical shock during the removal process.
  5. Disconnect Positive Terminal: After disconnecting the negative terminal, proceed to disconnect the positive terminal (+).
  6. Remove Battery: Once both terminals are disconnected, carefully remove the battery from the generator.

Safety Measures:

  • Wear Protective Gear: Use gloves and safety goggles to protect yourself from any potential contact with battery acid or other hazardous materials.
  • Dispose of Batteries Properly: Take the detached battery to a recycling center or a facility that handles battery disposal. Many areas have specific programs for battery recycling.

By safely detaching the battery from your generator, you contribute to a safer disposal process and ensure that the battery is handled in an environmentally responsible manner. Always prioritize safety and follow manufacturer guidelines during this step.

Consult Manufacturer Guidelines

Before proceeding with the disposal of your portable generator, it’s crucial to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines. Manufacturers often provide specific instructions on how to dispose of their products, including any unique considerations or recommended disposal methods. Here’s how to navigate this step:

  1. Review the Manual: Refer to the user manual or any accompanying documentation provided by the manufacturer. Look for a dedicated section on disposal or end-of-life instructions.
  2. Visit the Manufacturer’s Website: Check the manufacturer’s official website for updated information. Some companies may have online resources or support channels that offer guidance on the proper disposal of their products.
  3. Contact Customer Support: If in doubt, reach out to the manufacturer’s customer support. They can provide personalized advice and may even offer take-back programs or suggestions for local disposal options.

Key Considerations:

  • Product-Specific Recommendations: Manufacturers may have unique recommendations based on the model and components of your generator.
  • Take-Back Programs: Some manufacturers have programs in place to take back old products for proper disposal or recycling. Inquire about any such initiatives.

By following the manufacturer’s guidelines, you ensure that your portable generator is disposed of in a manner consistent with the company’s specifications. This approach not only aligns with responsible environmental practices but also reflects a commitment to following the recommendations of the product’s creator.

Local Recycling Centers

Once you’ve prepared your portable generator for disposal by disconnecting its fuel source, draining fluids, and detaching the battery, the next step is to explore local recycling centers. These centers are equipped to handle electronic waste responsibly. Here’s a guide on utilizing local recycling facilities:

  1. Research Nearby Centers: Look for electronic waste recycling centers in your local area. Municipal recycling programs or private facilities may accept generators.
  2. Check Accepted Items: Confirm that the recycling center accepts generators and inquire about any specific guidelines they may have for drop-off.
  3. Transport Safely: If the generator is small enough, transport it securely to the recycling center. If it’s larger or you’re unsure, inquire about pick-up services that the recycling center may offer.
  4. Provide Documentation: Some recycling centers may ask for documentation proving that the generator has been properly prepared for disposal. Provide any receipts or certificates obtained during the process.

By choosing a local recycling center for your generator disposal, you actively participate in sustainable waste management practices, ensuring that your generator is recycled responsibly and its components are used efficiently. Always follow the specific guidelines set by the recycling center to streamline the disposal process.

Professional Disposal Services

For those seeking a hassle-free and environmentally responsible option for disposing of their portable generator, professional disposal services offer a reliable solution. These services specialize in handling electronic waste, ensuring that your generator is disposed of safely and in compliance with environmental regulations.

  1. Research Disposal Services: Look for reputable electronic waste disposal services in your area. Check for certifications and reviews to ensure their credibility.
  2. Inquire About Services: Contact the disposal service to inquire about their specific offerings. Some services may provide pick-up options, making the process more convenient for you.
  3. Understand Disposal Procedures: Ask about the procedures they follow for generator disposal. A professional service should adhere to environmental guidelines and regulations.
  4. Obtain a Service Quote: Inquire about the cost associated with their services. Quotes may vary based on factors such as the size of the generator and the complexity of the disposal process.
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Benefits of Professional Services:

  • Expertise in Hazardous Materials: Professional disposal services are equipped to handle hazardous materials, ensuring safe and compliant disposal.
  • Convenience: These services often offer pick-up services, saving you the effort of transporting the generator to a disposal site.
  • Environmental Compliance: Reputable disposal services prioritize environmental responsibility, following strict guidelines for electronic waste disposal.

By opting for professional disposal services, you entrust the responsible handling of your generator to experts in the field. This choice not only ensures compliance with environmental regulations but also provides a convenient and efficient solution for disposing of your portable generator.

Document Disposal

As you proceed with the disposal of your portable generator, it’s crucial to maintain a comprehensive record of the entire process. Proper documentation not only serves as proof of responsible disposal but also aids in compliance with regulations and guidelines. Here’s how to effectively document the disposal:

  1. Save Receipts and Certificates: When utilizing recycling centers or professional disposal services, retain any receipts, certificates, or documentation provided. This paperwork serves as evidence of proper disposal.
  2. Note Disposal Date and Location: Record the date and location of the generator disposal. This information may be required for compliance purposes or in case of any future inquiries.
  3. Photographic Evidence: Take photographs of the generator before and after disposal. This visual documentation can be valuable in demonstrating the condition of the generator and its components.
  4. Create a Disposal Log: Maintain a log detailing each step of the disposal process, including the disconnection of fuel, removal of fluids, battery detachment, and the chosen method of disposal.

Importance of Documentation:

  • Compliance Verification: Documentation serves as proof that you followed proper disposal procedures, essential for compliance with local regulations.
  • Future Reference: Keeping records enables you to provide information in case of any questions or audits related to the disposal process.
  • Environmental Accountability: Documentation reflects your commitment to environmentally responsible practices, showcasing your dedication to proper electronic waste management.

By documenting the disposal process meticulously, you demonstrate a commitment to responsible waste management and provide a transparent account of how your portable generator was handled at the end of its lifecycle.

Sell or Donate

Before considering disposal, assess whether your portable generator is still in working condition. If so, exploring options to sell or donate it can be a sustainable choice. This not only extends the generator’s lifespan but also minimizes waste. Here’s how to proceed:

  1. Assess Generator Condition: Check if the generator is in good working order. If it’s functional and meets safety standards, it may have value to others.
  2. Explore Selling Opportunities: Consider selling the generator through online platforms, local classifieds, or to individuals who may have a use for it.
  3. Price Reasonably: Set a fair and reasonable price for the generator based on its condition, age, and features. Be transparent about any issues or maintenance needs.
  4. Donation Options: If selling isn’t feasible, explore donation options. Charities, community organizations, or local businesses may be interested in a functional generator.

Benefits of Selling or Donating:

  • Resource Conservation: Extending the lifespan of the generator reduces the demand for new products, contributing to resource conservation.
  • Community Support: Donating a generator to a local organization or charity can benefit the community, especially during emergencies or power outages.
  • Financial Return (if selling): Selling the generator provides a financial return, which can be used towards a new, more energy-efficient model if needed.

By exploring options to sell or donate your portable generator, you actively participate in the circular economy, where products are reused and repurposed rather than immediately discarded. This approach aligns with sustainable practices and reduces the environmental impact associated with electronic waste.

Consider Repurposing the Generator

Repurposing a used portable generator can offer an alternative to disposing of it or trading away for another item. It is important to consider the safety and environmental factors when repurposing a generator as it can be dangerous if not done properly. Repurposing requires some technical knowledge, although there are several ways in which a used generator can be repurposed for another use.

Cost effectiveTime consumingDonating
Environmental friendlyRequires technical knowledgeTrading
Can be reused multiple timesPotentially dangerousSelling

This could involve converting the generator into an electric motor with certain modifications, or using it as an emergency power source by connecting electrical components such as lights, fans, and other appliances directly to the generator’s output ports. Certain adjustments may need to be made depending on what is being powered and how much electricity is needed.

By making these modifications and ensuring that all connection points are safe, you can make use of your old generator in a variety of new ways while also reducing potential waste from disposal or trading away.

Educate Others: Promoting Responsible Generator Disposal Practices

As you navigate the process of getting rid of your portable generator, consider the importance of educating others about responsible disposal practices. Sharing information with friends, family, and your community fosters awareness and encourages environmentally conscious behavior. Here’s how to promote responsible generator disposal:

  1. Social Media Outreach: Use social media platforms to share insights and tips on proper generator disposal. Create posts or articles highlighting the environmental impact and the importance of responsible practices.
  2. Community Workshops: Consider organizing workshops or informational sessions in your community to discuss electronic waste management. Provide practical tips and resources for responsible disposal.
  3. Share Your Experience: If you’ve successfully navigated the generator disposal process, share your experience with others. Detail the steps you took and the considerations involved.

By educating others on responsible generator disposal, you contribute to a broader culture of environmental awareness and sustainable practices. Empowering individuals to make informed choices regarding their electronic waste ensures a collective effort towards a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Generator Safety Tips

Generators are indispensable for providing power during outages, but ensuring their safe operation is paramount. Here are essential Generator Safety Tips to keep in mind:

  1. Proper Ventilation: Always operate generators in well-ventilated areas to prevent the buildup of harmful gases like carbon monoxide.
  2. Read the Manual: Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s guidelines for your specific generator model to understand its unique safety requirements.
  3. Regular Maintenance: Conduct routine checks on the generator, including fuel lines, filters, and oil levels, to guarantee optimal performance and identify potential issues early.
  4. Keep Flammable Materials Away: Position the generator away from flammable materials to reduce the risk of fire hazards.
  5. Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Install and regularly test carbon monoxide detectors near the generator area to provide an early warning of any dangerous gas levels.
  6. Grounding: Ensure proper grounding of the generator to prevent electrical shocks and protect both the equipment and users.
  7. Fuel Safety: Store fuel in approved containers, away from heat sources, and follow guidelines for proper storage to avoid spills and contamination.
  8. Emergency Shutdown: Understand and practice the emergency shutdown procedures to swiftly respond to potential dangers.
  9. Children and Pets: Keep children and pets away from the generator during operation to prevent accidents and injuries.
  10. Avoid Overloading: Respect the generator’s rated capacity and avoid overloading it to maintain efficient and safe operation.
  11. Cooling Time: Allow the generator to cool down before refueling to prevent accidental fires or burns. Follow the recommended cooldown period specified in the manual.
  12. Secure Placement: Place the generator on a stable, flat surface to prevent tipping and ensure safe operation. Avoid placing it on uneven or sloped terrain.
  13. Regular Testing: Periodically run the generator to ensure it starts easily and operates smoothly. This practice helps identify potential issues before they become major problems during an emergency.
  14. Extension Cord Safety: If using extension cords, ensure they are of sufficient gauge for the load and in good condition. Overloading cords can lead to overheating and pose a fire risk.
  15. Weather Considerations: Shelter the generator from the elements to protect it from rain and snow. Use appropriate covers or enclosures designed for your specific generator model.
  16. Professional Inspection: Schedule regular professional inspections to check for hidden issues and ensure all components are in good working order. This is especially important for standby generators.
  17. Emergency Services Awareness: Familiarize yourself with the location of emergency shut-off switches and how to quickly contact relevant services in case of a malfunction or emergency.
  18. Storage Precautions: If the generator is not in use for an extended period, follow proper storage procedures. This includes draining the fuel, disconnecting the battery, and storing it in a dry, cool place.
  19. Educate Users: Ensure that anyone who may need to operate the generator is familiar with its safety features and operation. Provide clear instructions to prevent accidents caused by misuse.
  20. Legal Compliance: Be aware of and adhere to local regulations regarding generator usage, emissions, and noise levels. Non-compliance may result in fines or other penalties.
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Remember, adhering to these Generator Safety Tips is crucial to ensure the reliable and secure use of your generator.


In conclusion of how to get rid of portable generator, we discussed that parting ways with a portable generator requires careful consideration and adherence to proper disposal methods. By checking local regulations and guidelines, you can ensure compliance with the appropriate protocols for disposing of electronic or hazardous waste. Explore options like selling or donating your generator if it’s still functional and in good condition. 

If recycling is a viable option, locate a certified electronic waste recycling facility or contact your local recycling center. When recycling is not available or feasible, consult your local waste management authority for guidance on proper disposal methods. Embrace the responsibility of getting rid of your portable generator, making a positive impact on the environment while ensuring your peace of mind.


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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the potential environmental impacts of disposing of a portable generator?

Disposal of a portable generator can have serious environmental impacts. Alternative disposal methods must be considered to avoid hazardous waste entering landfills and natural ecosystems. Proper disposal is necessary to protect the environment for future generations.

Are there any safety precautions to consider when disposing of a generator?

When disposing of a generator, it’s important to be aware of potential fuel disposal and chemical hazards. Take caution when handling any chemicals associated with the generator, such as oil or gasoline, as they can cause severe damage if not handled properly. An anecdote from an experienced user would thus serve as a reminder to take all necessary safety precautions when disposing of a generator.

What is the best way to store a generator for long-term disposal?

For long-term storage, generators should be kept in a cool and dry place away from combustible materials. Recycling options such as donation programs are available for those who no longer wish to keep their generator. It is important to remember safety precautions when disposing of any hazardous material.

Are there any costs associated with disposing of a generator?

With the ever-increasing need to recycle, disposing of a generator can involve significant costs. For hazardous waste such as generators, recycling options may be available but they must be explored carefully to ensure compliance and minimize expenses.

Are there any government regulations regarding the disposal of generators?

Disposal of generators is subject to various government regulations, such as requirements for recycling options and proper disposal methods. It is important to ensure compliance with these regulations in order to avoid penalties and protect the environment.

How do you scrap a portable generator?

Portable generators should be handled responsibly, and it’s advised not to dispose of them in regular garbage. Many recycling centers accept emptied generators, but recycling fees vary by location. To ease the process, consider arranging for a disposal expert from LoadUp to manage the task efficiently.

Are old generators worth anything?

When evaluating the value of a used generator, experts consider the hours it has been in operation. Generators used sparingly, like during emergencies or as backups, tend to fetch a higher value than those used regularly. The odometer reading is a key factor in determining a reasonable price for the generator.

Is it OK to leave a portable generator outside?

While generators are versatile in various weather conditions, it’s essential to protect them from the elements when not in use to prevent issues like shorting and rusting. For optimal safety, operate the generator on level surfaces and avoid exposing it to excessive moisture, dirt, dust, or corrosive vapors.

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