How to Dispose of Your Household Appliances in an Eco-Friendly Way

recyclingMaybe your old appliance became an energy-sucking money pit or your specialist in appliance repair in Fairfax, Va. said it’s cheaper to get a new one. Either way, you have to get rid of that bulky, now useless appliance. And while howling it to a dump might be the first thing that comes to mind, please consider disposing of your appliance in more eco-friendly way.

Removing hazardous parts

The thing is, when your old appliance gets dropped off at a landfill, there is no guarantee it will be taken apart and properly “disarmed.” As you might know, many appliances contain fluids and parts that can harm environment by producing greenhouse gasses or depleting ozone layer. Some of the hazardous components inside your appliances are:

      • Refrigerants in freezers, fridges and AC units, especially older models manufactured before 1995 (By the way, refrigerants are required to be removed prior to appliance disposal by the federal law)
      • Off-gassing foam insulation
      • Used oils
      • Acid Batteries
      • Mercury and other dangerous substances

Even if these elements get removed, the rest of the appliance still gets buried with all the metals and parts that could be recycled. And even though landfills are designed to avoid ground contamination, the off-gassing can’t be entirely prevented.

So what should I do with my appliance then?

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to get rid of your old unneeded appliances in a responsible way. If your appliance still works, you can even get some money back – how cool is that? So, if it’s still running, here is what you can do.

Check with the manufacturer and retailer

Some manufacturers might have a “buyback” or recycling program for old appliances. Visit manufacturer’s website or call their customer support to find out if such program exists and if you are eligible to participate. You might even get a store credit for your future purchase. Similarly, a retailer you purchased your new appliance from may offer to pick up and dispose of your old one at no additional cost.

Check with your electric utility provider

Your electricity provider might also have a program in place to help you reduce energy use by disposing of old, inefficient appliances that are still in a working condition. They often pay you for getting rid of your second refrigerator or freezer. Check out this initiative by Delmarva Power to get an idea how this works. And here is a complete list of electricity providers that partnered with EPA to encourage safe appliance disposal among their customers.

Working appliances can be refurbished, cleaned up and resold. You could also donate an old working appliance to a friend or charity.

What if your appliance doesn’t work?

Check with your County

Your curbside recycling pick-up is organized by local government and the officials have also thought about bulk item disposal. When you visit your county’s website you can usually find a list of locations where you can take your bulky items for recycling or numbers to call to arrange pickup at your home. This will typically cost you a small fee.

Hire a professional

There are many services specializing in pickup of bulk items and some will even do the recycling part for you. Of course, a payment is involved, but the bonus is that you don’t have to worry about moving a heavy appliance and finding a car it would fit in. The appliance removal team will do it all for you and even ensure every part of your appliance gets recycled.

Search the web

There could be tones of recycling drop-off locations in your neighborhood. Many large retail stores, such as Sears, Best Buy and Wal-Mart, as well as smaller mom-and-pop shops often participate in state-wide or nation-wide recycling drives. Use Earth911.com to find recycling centers near you.

Not sure whether you should keep your barely working appliance or let it go? We specialize in appliance repair in Arlington, Va. and surrounding areas – when you call us to repair your old appliance, we will let you know how long it’s got left to function and what solution will be more financially beneficial to you.