Q. We have a 2001 Nordic Track elliptical exercise machine that is in perfectly fine and working order except that the axle has begun to crack. It cannot be repaired, but I just can't stomach throwing the entire unit away with so many working parts. I've called Nordic Track, exercise repair companies, local recycling companies and even health clubs. Nobody wants to try to recycle our used equipment. Any suggestions? I don't want to end up carting it off to the landfill.

– Greg and Kjersten Oylear, NY

A. Time to cue the Sanford and Son theme song and find a junkman. A professional salvager will be take apart your weary machine, retrieve all the steel, aluminum and mixed metal, and sell it to a large metal recycler. Try looking up “metal salvage” in your local Yellow Pages—you may be able to negotiate a free pick-up, or even collect a little money if you drop it off yourself. Or call 1-800-Got-Junk, a national junk hauling chain which will send a truck to come pick the beast up. They do charge a fee (which varies from city to city), but the company promises to recycle as much as possible—they’ve set up a special incentive program to reward its franchises for minimizing landfill. No matter which option you choose, you’ll surely feel a sense of relief knowing that your non-so-trusty trainer is getting a proper burial.

Story by Sarah Schmidt. This article originally appeared in Plenty in November 2008.

Copyright Environ Press 2008