Can You Recycle Brake Rotors?

If you own a vehicle, then you may have an idea of what brake rotors are. They are the metallic parts that we hang our vehicle tires on. Now, occasions may arise when we have to change the rotors.

Auto-shop owners and workers are very familiar with brake rotors and may have a collection in their auto-shops. If you run an auto-shop, you must have recommended that several of your clients change their brake rotors for one reason or the other. If you have, then it is likely that you changed it for them, and now happen to have some lying around your shop.

Well, brake rotors are not the typical items you find in a garbage can, so we may rule out disposing of them in the bin. So now, how do you dispose of your single or collection of brake rotors? In this blog post, we will enlighten you on some safe and fun ways to dispose of them.

Are Brake Rotors Recyclable?

You don’t have to replace your brake rotors often, but they were not designed to last forever. So at one point or the other, they will wear out. When this happens, well, you can recycle them.

It would be best to recycle brake rotors because that is the most environmentally friendly way to dispose of them. They are substantially large metals, and if you dump them in the trash can, they will undoubtedly end up sitting in the landfills for several decades, if not centuries.

Now, you cannot recycle your brake rotors with your essential household items. For one, they are heavy metals, and their weight can damage the recycling machines beyond repair.

Brake rotors do not require unique recycling methods like some other waste metals because they contain little to no harmful materials. You can recycle them with other metallic waste or at the direction of your waste disposal company.

Well, we advise that before you log around your heavy brake rotors, you inquire at your recycling center if they have provisions for recycling metallic waste. Some do, but most don’t. So, you may have to resort to other means of recycling them.

One of such is to use a recycling locator to find the nearest recycling center that accepts brake rotors. Next, you can gather the rotors and move them all at once to the recycling center.

If there isn’t one close to you, you may consult a metal recycling company. Those should not be hard to find. Simply log on to your computer and find the one closest to you.

It would be best if you never disposed of your useless brake rotors in the trash can. What happens when you do this is that they end up sitting in the landfills and taking up a lot of space.

They will eventually break down, but it will take at least a century. Even when decomposition occurs, the decomposed bits never really go away. They just end up as smaller particles that remain in the environment.

Can You Throw Away Old Rotors in the Trash?

Well, most times, our immediate method of disposal is to bin useless items. It’s expected because most things we come in contact with every day can go in the trash can when they become useless.

However, not all these items should go in the bin—for instance, brake rotors. It would be best if you did not throw your useless brake rotors in the bin, and here’s why.

Brake rotors are made from metals. They become metallic waste when they stop being useful. Now, metallic waste should never go in the bin because it isn’t biodegradable. It is not susceptible to the actions of microorganisms.

When brake rotors go to the landfills, they take up a lot of space for as long as centuries. Indeed, they will eventually break down due to time and weathering, but even then, the decomposed bits never really go away. So they stay in the environment even though they are not toxic.

If you have a couple of old brake rotors in your possession, you may choose to repurpose them (See the last section on how to reuse them). However, you certainly cannot use the old and condemned ones because you will be endangering yourself. If you cannot repurpose them, you may log them to a scrapyard or a recycling center.

Before you take them to a recycling center, inquire to find out if they accept metallic waste because most community recycling centers do not. If they don’t, you may then try to find a recycling center that does.

Are Brake Rotors Universal?

A material’s universality depends on how versatile it is. Can it be used just anywhere? Or, in this case, can it be used with just any vehicle?

Well, here goes. Brake rotors are partially universal because we can use them with any vehicle as long as they fit perfectly when mounted. Any car can use them, but they have to be the perfect size of the mount.

You should not take any chances, however. Ensure that the brake rotors you buy fit your car perfectly, so they don’t come off suddenly.

Aside from physical fitness, brake rotors are not universal in that there are different prices because of differences in quality. However, aside from minor differences like quality and price, brake rotors are versatile.

Can you Get Money For Old Rotors?

Making money from old rotors will entail toting them to a scrapyard. But, even if the rotors aren’t working anymore, the metal they are made from will certainly prove helpful.

Now, you will have to compare the prices of the different scrapyards per pound. Some have favorable prices while a lot do not. You may want to go for the one that has the best prices.

Most scrap yards accept brake rotors by the pound. Averagely, you should get around 0.7 cents for each pound of brake rotors you bring around for sale. A brake rotor can weigh about 15 to 40 pounds, so you look at nothing less than $10 for each brake rotor. For larger vehicles, the brake rotors will certainly weigh more.

It will undoubtedly be a shame to stain your vehicle with brake oil when transporting the rotors to the scrapyard. You may have to spend some extra bucks on cleaning, and that will defeat the purpose of trying to make some extra money in the first place.

So when you are moving the old brake rotors to the scrapyard, you have to take extra care because most of them have brake oil dripping from them.

Here’s how you can carefully move your old brake rotors to the scrapyard. You can place the rotors in a cardboard box or any packaging material you don’t mind disposing of. You have to use one you don’t need anymore because you will likely have to dispose of it if it gets stained.

You also have to drive carefully on your way to the scrapyard so you don’t offset the rotors. They will not get damaged if this happens, but they may leave oil stains on the parts of your vehicle that they come in contact with.

Overall, you can make some extra money off your old brake rotors. If you happen to have a collection of them, then you stand a chance to make even more money. You can also talk to your family and friends and bring you their old brake rotors so that you are making even more money off them.

Aside from making some extra bucks, you also save the environment by keeping heavy but harmless metals like the rotors away from the landfills.

5 Amazing Ways to Reuse Old Rotors

Ordinarily, your immediate method of waste disposal should be to recycle the materials. However, it appears to be even better to attempt to repurpose them before resorting to recycling. That way, you are conserving our natural resources.

Well, if you love repurposing, then we have a few creative tips on what to do with your old rotors. Please, enjoy!

1. Mounted Wall Lamp Stands

We bet you didn’t know that you could use your old rotors as lampstands. Well, now you do. Instead of recycling your old rotors, you can repurpose them into lampstands, and here’s how.

It would help if you had a strong adhesive that you can use to attach the brake rotor to the wall. Next, get a screw that is compatible with both the lamp holder and the rotor, and voila, you have a creative and unique lamp in your house.

2. Edgy Wall Clocks

Your old rotors can also serve as edgy wall clocks, and here’s how it works. You may choose to get a small timepiece that can fit into the hollow part of the rotor and use a strong adhesive to hold them together.

3. Homemade Grills

This here is a genius hack for you to dispose of your old rotors by repurposing them. If you enjoy the occasional grilled chicken or sausages, then you can get a craftsman to create a grill from your old rotors.

However, it has to be a sizable one for this hack to work. If you are crafty, you may also try it out yourself.

You will need a stand for this craft. Preferably three or four iron rods that you aren’t using anymore. Of course, they have to be the same length so that they will balance your grill. Attach the rods to the rotors and place some hot coal in it, and you have got yourself a homemade grill to satiate your cravings.

4. Rustic Flower Pots

This artsy tip is for green thumbs. Did you know that you can use your old rotors as makeshift flower pots? The best part is that when you are done with this craft, you can leave people speculating on how you achieved it because it will look aesthetically appealing and also achieve functionality.

Here’s how. Get a couple of rotors that are the same size. You can use about five if you have up to that. Next, mount them on top of each other and splash them with your favorite paint color. Finally, you can place them at systematic parts of your house and plant your favorite flowers in them.

5. Tool Organizers

You can also turn your old rotors into tool organizers, and here’s how. If yours have small holes, then you can place the rotors somewhere and insert your screwdrivers and other tools into them. They make great organizational tools.

The best thing about repurposing these items is that you can also gift them out. They are so presentable and artsy that the average person will appreciate them. So do not hesitate to gift them to your friends, family, neighbors, and even co-workers.


It would be best to avoid throwing materials like metals in the garbage can, especially when they are large or weigh a lot. This blog post was curated to show you how to dispose of your old rotors correctly and excitingly. It means that you can have fun while also doing the right thing. So please, read up and stay informed.

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About Rinkesh

A true environmentalist by heart ❤️. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe.