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Satellite Dish Removal and Recycling

By Ezy Peazy on 17 Jun 2024

From Roof to Recycling Centre: The Complete Guide to Satellite Dish Disposal

With the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime and high-speed internet, many of us have stopped watching traditional TV programmes. This means many of us are left with unwanted satellite dishes perched precariously on our roofs or mounted on tall poles set into the ground.

These are an eyesore, and they can pose a safety hazard if they become loose or are damaged in a storm or during high winds. If you want to reclaim your roof or backyard space and dispose of your unwanted satellite dish responsibly, this guide is for you.

We'll walk you through the process of safely removing the dish yourself, from gathering the right tools to dismantling the structure. Finally, we'll explore some eco-friendly options for recycling the various leftover components.

Step-by-step of removing a satellite dish

Once you've decided to get rid of your unwanted satellite dish, it’s time to get down to the details of DIY satellite dish removal. However, removing an old satellite dish isn’t a straightforward task.

Some of the challenges include:

  • Height and safety: Satellite dishes are often mounted on roofs, often at least one storey high. This presents a health and safety risk that needs the correct equipment, like a tall ladder, ropes, and harnesses.
  • Complexity: Removing a dish involves removing smaller components like cables, antennas, and brackets before you tackle the main part of the device.
  • Poles mounted in concrete: If your satellite dish is set on a pole concreted into the ground, it will take a lot of effort to dig it out and dispose of it.

An important point to remember is that it’s not just about decluttering your roof or backyard – it’s about doing so safely and sustainably.

How to Remove a Satellite Dish from Your Roof

Before you start the process of removing a satellite dish from your roof, it’s important to consider all safety aspects. Here's a step-by-step on how to remove your satellite dish without taking unnecessary risks:


  • Switch off the power and disconnect: Find the power supply for the dish and disconnect it from the electrical socket. Then go inside your house, find the connection point for the satellite cable, and unplug it.
  • Get tools: You'll need a strong ladder that reaches your roof safely, with a wide base to keep it stable. Depending on the dish's mounting, you’ll need wrenches, screwdrivers, or a drill with a socket set of the right size. Work gloves will protect your hands, and a helper on the ground is recommended for safety and to pass you tools.
  • Rooftop readiness: Choose a dry, calm day when your footing is safer. Wear sturdy shoes with good grip. Check your roof for potential hazards and plan your movements carefully.

Removing the dish

  • Secure the ladder: Make sure your ladder is securely positioned on stable ground and that it extends at least a metre above the roofline. Ideally, ask your helper to hold the ladder for additional stability.
  • Disconnect cables: Carefully remove any cables attached to the dish. Use cable cutters if necessary, but make sure you label each wire to make it easier to reconnect if needed in the future.
  • Dismantle the dish: Locate the mounting bracket that secures the dish to the roof. Using your wrenches, screwdrivers, or socket set, loosen and remove the bolts holding the dish in place. Do this gradually and carefully, making sure you support the dish as it loosens.
  • Lower the dish: Once the dish is free from the bracket, get your helper on the ground on standby to assist. Carefully lower the dish towards them, keeping it level to avoid any damage.
  • Remove the mount: The baseplate that secures the dish to the roof may be bolted down. Following the same process, loosen and remove these bolts. Be careful, as the baseplate can be heavy. If possible, consider leaving the baseplate on your roof, as removing it can mean you have to do more extensive work on the roofing surface.
  • Patch and seal: If you decide to remove the baseplate, you'll need to repair the holes left behind. Use roofing sealant that’s designed for your roof type to make sure you have a watertight seal.

Remember safety first! If you're not sure about any of the steps, or you feel unsure about working at heights, it's best to call in a professional.

How to Remove a Satellite Dish from a Pole in the Ground

Removing a satellite dish that’s mounted on a pole in the ground is a slightly less risky operation than tackling one on your roof, however, you must still take care. Here's how to get it done safely and easily.

Get the correct equipment

You'll need a spade to loosen the dirt around the base of the pole. Depending on the pole's size and how it's anchored, a wrench or pliers might be needed to remove any nuts or bolts at the bottom of the pole. Wear sturdy shoes and gloves for digging and handling the dish. Safety glasses are a good idea to protect your eyes from anything that might come loose.

Detach the dish

Find the cable running from the dish to your house. Disconnect it from the dish using cable cutters and label the cable in case it’s needed for future use.

Next, look for the bracket that holds the dish onto the pole; it will likely be secured with nuts or bolts. Use your wrench, spanner, or pliers to loosen and remove these. Carefully lower the dish towards you or your helper, keeping it level to avoid any damage.

How to Remove a Satellite Dish Pole from the Ground

Once you’ve removed the satellite dish, it's time to tackle the pole itself. Start by digging away some dirt around the base to expose a good-sized section of the pole. You might find a concrete base holding it in place, depending on how it was installed.

If there's no concrete, try to loosen the pole by rocking it back and forwards. A helper is a big plus for this step.

If the pole seems very secure, consider using a pry bar wedged against a solid object, like a large rock, to help lever it out of the ground. If the pole is deeply buried, or made of a heavy material, you might need some extra power.

You could try using a tow strap or rope secured to the pole and a sturdy vehicle to gently pull it out. Be very careful if you use this method. Make sure the vehicle is securely anchored and have someone guide the pole as it comes out.

Once the pole is out, fill the remaining hole with dirt and pack it down firmly.

Removing Satellite Dish Wires

Disconnecting satellite dish wires is a reasonably straightforward process, but it's important to prioritise safety. Before you touch any wires, make sure your satellite service is deactivated and the power supply to the dish is unplugged.

Satellite cable is usually a thick, round coaxial cable running from the dish to your house. At the dish, find the point where this cable connects. There should be a screw-on connector holding it in place. Use a wrench or pliers, depending on the type of connector, to loosen and remove it gently.

Now follow the cable from outside your house to where it enters through a wall or crawlspace. Inside, the cable will most likely connect to a splitter or receiver box. Find the specific point for the satellite dish cable – most connections will involve a screw-on mechanism similar to the one at the dish.

Use the right tool to loosen and remove the connector carefully. If you think you might ever reinstall your satellite dish, consider labelling the cable on both ends before disconnecting it. This will help you identify it easily in the future.

Coaxial cable can often be recycled through electronics recycling programs, or you can dispose of it in your regular trash can. Remember, be gentle with the cables and if you're unsure about any step in removing satellite dish wires, get professional help.

Patching Satellite Dish Holes in Your Roof

Removing a satellite dish from your roof can leave behind some small holes. While they may not seem like a big problem, these holes can let water seep into your roof and cause damage.

This section is a clear and simple guide to patching these holes and keeping your roof watertight. We'll cover the materials you'll need, the steps in the repair process, and some important things to think about to make sure your fix lasts.

How to Patch Your Roof After Removing a Satellite Dish

After removing your satellite dish, you'll find a few small holes where the mounting bracket was attached. These holes need to be patched properly to prevent water leaks and potential damage to your roof. Here's a detailed guide on how to get the job done:


  • Roofing cement (designed for your roof type e.g. concrete tiles, roofing iron)
  • Caulking gun (for applying the roofing cement)
  • Utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Work gloves
  • Safety glasses
  • Roofing tiles (depending on the damage).


  • Clean the area: Wear your work gloves and safety glasses for protection. Use a utility knife to remove any debris or dirt around the holes left by the satellite dish mount.
  • Inspect the tiles or roofing iron: If you have concrete roof tiles, carefully examine them around the holes. If they’re damaged or torn beyond repair, you'll need to replace them. Otherwise, proceed to the next step.
  • Apply roofing cement: Following instructions on the packaging, load the tube into the caulking gun. Carefully push the nozzle into the hole in the tile or roofing iron and fill it from the bottom up. Use a smooth, beading motion to apply the cement and make sure it covers the entire hole and surrounding area.
  • Smooth the surface (optional): If you're using a putty knife, you can gently smooth the surface of the applied roofing cement to create a clean finish.
  • Replacing tiles (if needed): If you spot damaged tiles around the holes, carefully slip the new tile under the existing tiles above it, making sure it aligns properly. Secure the new tile following the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Let it dry: Allow the roofing cement to dry completely according to the product instructions. The drying time can vary depending on the brand and weather conditions.

Helpful Tips

  • Work in good weather: Choose a dry and sunny day to patch holes in your roof from removing your satellite dish. Avoid patching your roof in wet or freezing conditions.
  • When in doubt, call a professional: If you're unsure about any step of the process, the extent of the damage, or your comfort level working at heights on your roof, call a professional for help.

By following these steps, you can patch the holes left behind by your satellite dish and ensure your roof remains a reliable barrier against the elements.

Cost to Remove a Satellite Dish from Your Roof

The final cost of removing your satellite dish from your roof can vary, according to several factors. The size and complexity of the dish plays a role, as larger or multi-part dishes will involve more labour and therefore cost more to take down.

Accessibility of your roof is also a factor; a steep or difficult-to-access roof will need greater safety precautions, which will likely cost more. Where the satellite dish is mounted also matters – a pole in the ground is generally easier and cheaper to deal with than a roof-mounted satellite dish. Be sure to factor in disposal fees as well, if you’re not going to recycle your disk.

A big decision to make is whether you’ll tackle your satellite dish removal yourself, or will you call in a professional? DIY removal might seem cheaper at first, but you'll need to factor in the cost of any tools you don't have, like a tall ladder, or roofing supplies for patching the holes left behind.

Bear in mind there can be hidden costs to consider with either option. Unexpected damage to your roof or cables during removal might need additional repairs, which will add to the overall cost. There could also be hidden mounting hardware under the dish that a professional might uncover, which will need extra time and bump up their price.

If you choose to go the DIY route, disposing of the dish responsibly at an electronics recycling centre might incur additional fees, if you can’t find a local recycler.

The decision comes down to weighing the cost of tools, potential repairs, and your own comfort level working at heights against the convenience and expertise of a professional. To ensure a smooth and safe removal process, it’s important to consider these factors to help you determine the best course of action for your satellite dish removal project.

Free Satellite Dish Removal

While there aren't any companies in New Zealand that currently offer completely free satellite dish removal, there are a few ways to minimise the cost.

Your first stop should be your service provider. They might offer removal as part of the disconnection process, especially if you're switching providers or upgrading your package. It's worth checking to see if they have any removal options available.

Another option to explore is recycling centres or scrap metal yards. Some might accept satellite dishes for free (or for a small fee) depending on the materials the dish is made of. However, this option means you need to remove the dish yourself and take it to the facility.

Searching online for recycling centres or scrap metal yards in your area that accept electronics is a good first step. Call them directly to confirm their policy on satellite dishes.

Finally, there might be local community programmes or charities that can help. These kinds of programmes can help low-income homeowners or seniors with tasks like satellite dish removal. Research online or contact your local council to find out if there are any programmes like these available in your area.

Satellite Dish Disposal & Recycling

How to Dispose of Your Old Satellite Dish

Once you've successfully removed your satellite dish, either by DIY or using a professional, the job isn't quite finished. It’s important to dispose of it responsibly to protect the environment and avoid harmful electronic waste ending up in landfills. Here are some eco-friendly options to consider:

  • Recycling through electronics programmes: Many electronic (e-waste) recycling programmes accept satellite dishes. They break down the dish into its various components and separate it into recyclable materials like metal and plastic. Search online for electronics recycling centres or initiatives in your area. Most want the dish to be free of debris and any cables before you drop it off.
  • Manufacturer take-back programmes: Some satellite dish manufacturers might have take-back programmes, where they accept old dishes and arrange for them to be recycled properly. Contact your dish manufacturer to see if they offer a programme and what you need to do.

Recycle Satellite Dish for Cash

If your satellite dish is made mainly of metal, scrap metal yards could be a good option. They usually buy unwanted metal by weight, so larger dishes could potentially bring a nice return. Contact your local scrap metal yards to find out about their policy on satellite dishes and what you need to do to prepare the disk before drop-off.

Important reminders

  • Never dispose of a satellite dish in your regular rubbish collection. Electronic waste (e-waste) contains harmful materials that can leach into the environment if they’re not disposed of properly.
  • Find out about local regulations. Disposal regulations for electronic waste can vary by location. Check with your local council or waste management company for any guidelines on satellite dish disposal. By choosing a responsible disposal or recycling option, you can ensure your unwanted satellite dish is handled properly and doesn't contribute to environmental harm.

What to do With Your Old Sky Dish

In New Zealand, there are a few factors to consider when dealing with your unwanted Sky satellite dish. Here's what you need to know:

  • Sky dish ownership: Sky satellite dishes in New Zealand technically remain the property of Sky, even after you disconnect your service. While you can remove the dish yourself, Sky does offer removal services for a fee. Contact Sky directly to inquire about their removal options and pricing.
  • Sky take-back scheme: Sky offers a take-back scheme for their old dishes. You can contact Sky to arrange a collection or drop the dish off at a participating Sky retail store. Visit the Sky website or contact them directly for details about their take-back programme and any associated fees.
  • General disposal options: The eco-friendly disposal and recycling options mentioned above apply to Sky dishes. You can explore electronics recycling programmes or scrap metal yards. Remember to check with your chosen programme or facility first about any specific requirements for Sky dish drop-offs.

Scrap metal buyers and free drop-off options

Endless Residential Scrap - Auckland https://www.endless.co.nz/residential-scrap/. Endless accept residential scrap metal and help with appliance and whiteware recycling.

Sims Metal - Nationwide https://www.simsmetal.co.nz/sell-your-scrap/general-public/. Sims Metal pays cash for scrap metal.

Central Metals, Hamilton https://www.centralmetals.co.nz/yard-drop-off-service/. Take your scrap metal to Central Metals for recycling, and they will pay you for it. They accept household items like whiteware (fridges, stoves).

Get Your Satellite Dish Hauled Away for a Fee

Deciding to hire a professional to take down and remove your old satellite dish often includes disposal of the dish. But what if you've already taken it down yourself and just need someone to haul it away?

Junk removal companies often handle electronic waste, including satellite dishes. Get quotes from a few different companies and ask about their pricing for satellite dish removal.

If your dish is mainly metal, some scrap metal yards might accept it for a fee based on its weight. While it comes at a cost, this solution ensures convenience and efficiency, and it spares you the effort of arranging drop-offs or coordinating pickups.

Post Your Satellite Dish Removal and Recycling On Ezy Peazy

It only takes a few clicks for you to post your satellite dish removal task requirements on Ezy Peazy. Add your location, budget, and preferred time and wait for the offers to come in. Select your preferred tasker for the job and they’ll pick up your dish from wherever it needs collecting and dispose of it safely and in line with recycling best practice. It’s that easy with Ezy Peazy!

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FAQs About Satellite Dish Removal and Recycling

Can I remove my old satellite dish myself?

Yes, it's possible, but safety is key. If your dish is on a dangerous roof, call a professional tasker to avoid accidents. If you decide to DIY, you'll need tools like a ladder and wrenches and be prepared to patch any holes left behind in your roof. There may also be unexpected damage during removal that will need extra repairs.

How can I dispose of the old dish in an eco-friendly way?

Certified electronics recycling centres accept old satellite dishes for responsible material separation. Scrap metal yards might take metal dishes and offer you a small fee, based on weight. Some satellite dish manufacturers might even have take-back programmes.

Should I hire a professional to remove my old satellite dish?

The cost to hire a professional can range from $100 to $500 in New Zealand. Factors that affect the price include the size and complexity of the dish, how easy it is to access your roof, and if disposal fees are included. Weighing your DIY skills against these professional removal costs will help you work out the best way to get rid of your unwanted satellite dish.