How To Dispose Of Large Appliances: A Complete Guide
Ready to buy a new refrigerator or a smart TV to replace that big old one you’ve had for the past decade? That’s great news! But now you have to figure out how to dispose of the old one.
It’s important that you dispose of large appliances properly. Electrical waste or WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which makes up the bulk of large appliances, constitute hazardous materials.
Your old refrigerator contains toxic substances such as ChloroFluoroCarbon (CFC), Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC), and Polyurethane (PUR) foam. Your old television also contains hazardous substances such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and mercury. These toxic substances are common across large appliances. Microwaves have Be, Pb, and PCB, while Air conditioners have Cd, PVC, and PCB, which are all toxic substances.
When disposed of improperly, these appliances end up in landfills where the harmful chemicals and substances seep into the soil and underground water, potentially causing air, ground, and belowground water pollution. Although some large appliances such as washing machines may not be hazardous, it is still important to dispose of them in an eco-friendly manner.
Here’s an interesting statistical fact about waste and large appliances. Between 2001 and 2017, the US produced more than 20 million tons of hazardous waste, 70% of which is e-waste. In 2019, the world generated over 53 million metric tons of e-waste. While small electronics such as discarded phones, electronic toys, and video cameras made up 32% of this e-waste, large appliances such as kitchen appliances (refrigerators, water heaters, and washing machines), photocopiers, and computers made up 24%. Yet, of all the e-waste generated in 2019, only 17% was reported to be recycled.
To dispose of your large appliances properly. It’s important to know the condition of the appliance. This article considers how to assess your large appliance for disposal and eco-friendly ways to dispose of them.
When Do You Need To Disposing of Your Large Appliances?
Here are a few things to consider that will advise how you dispose of your large appliances.
How Long Have You had It?
Most large appliances in your home have an average lifespan of 10 to 20 years. If it’s an appliance gotten sometime after the 1970s, you may check the serial number stamp, which will provide information about the product and when it was first produced. If it’s more than 20 years old, it may not be fit for donation or selling.
How Well Does It Work?
It also helps to know how well it works. If your appliance is still in great condition or needs just basic repairs, donating, giving away, or selling may be a viable option for disposal. You should make sure that electrical appliances do not shock when touched or wet. Noting the abnormalities will help you decide what best to do with it. Older appliances are also usually less energy efficient, and they may constitute safety risks with the potential to cause power surges and resultant electrical fires.
Is It Infested?
Insects such as cockroaches, and rat infestation is common with large appliances, especially when they’re old and are near some food store or water.
Are You Moving or Doing a House Remodel?
If you’re moving out to a place that’s already furnished with appliances you may need or moving out of town, you may want to get rid of your large appliances. It’s quite easy to dispose of items you won’t need in the future when you’re moving out. Also, when people do house remodels, they may decide to replace all of the major appliances in the home.
What Are Your Large Appliance Disposal Options?
Donate To Charity
A donation to charity is a great way to dispose of a large appliance you don’t need anymore. However, you should only donate after making some assessments and concluding that the appliance is less than ten years old and still in good condition. It would be unethical to donate appliances in bad shape to charity.
Donating your old appliances to charity is a great option if you’re doing a home remodel and would like to replace your home appliances or if you’re moving away and need to get rid of some kitchen appliances that you can’t take with you.
A few donation options for your large appliances include:
- The Salvation Army
- Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)
- St. Vincent de Paul
- Goodwill Industries
You can also check whether your local thrift store, neighborhood charities, and shelters accept these donations.
Many people think it’s not possible to recycle large appliances. However, this isn’t true. Many cities in the US have recycling programs that aim to reduce waste and environmental pollution. Check whether your city has a recycling center. You may have to take the appliance there yourself, but in some cases, you can pay a small fee for the program to pick the appliance up.
Note: Appliance parts that aren’t recyclable may include coolants, plastic lining, recalled appliances, PCB capacitors, and foam insulation.
Sell or Give Away
Another way to dispose of an appliance that’s still in good condition is to sell it or give it out.
Facebook Marketplace is a platform that allows people to sell many different items. There’s most likely a student or a new resident in your area that will gladly take it off you for some money. You can also use a mobile app like LetGo, and other online platforms such as Craigslist, OfferUp, or check your local secondhand store or flea market.
If the appliance has a fault that’s easy to fix, you may decide to fix it in your spare time or get a repairer to fix it. This way, you can sell it and make extra money while not contributing to landfill waste. Common household appliance parts that are easy to repair or replace include the water heater element, oven fuse, dishwasher spray arm, washing machine drum roller, coils, filters and coolants for air conditioners and refrigerators, water valve, and dryer heater elements (temperature switch, timer, fuse, thermostat).
Alternatively, you can reach out to your friends and ask your neighbors if they need an extra refrigerator or appliance that you need to get rid of. Again, you can give it away on Facebook Marketplace by posting to ask who needs an oven, refrigerator, dishwasher, or other appliances you’re willing to give out. Freecycle and Trash Nothing are other platforms where you can find someone around you that needs an oven, dishwasher, air conditioner, or freezer.
Repurpose Parts of The Appliance
You can also decide to repurpose parts of the appliance. This is especially great for large appliances that you’ve assessed and are not fit to be sold, given away, or donated. You can then recycle parts separately, such as metal scraps from the outer casing metals, condenser coils, and heating elements. Scrap metals from these appliances can be used in construction.
You can also repurpose tempered glass from refrigerators and ovens as concrete additives after being crushed. Some materials can also be used for abstract art and design decor if you’re crafty and creative.
Hire a Disposal Professional
Not ready to deal with the stress of recycling and repurposing, or there’s no avenue for these in your locality, and nobody has offered to take it or buy it from you, or perhaps you’re in a hurry to dispose of it, but you want to do it responsibly?
The easiest way to go about this is to hire a professional waste disposal service and let them handle it. Some waste disposal services may offer this service for a price. Just google “Junk Disposal Services Near Me” and find some suggestions. Some companies also provide large appliance disposal services specifically alongside other waste disposals.
Dimension can help you out here! Not sure how to dispose of your old appliances? Give us a call, and we’ll get to it!
Apart from relieving you of the stress of disposing of your refrigerator or ovens and air conditioner yourself, we’ll also help you haul it from your space. Not to worry; it won’t end up in a landfill. We are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your household or commercial used appliances and make sure it is recycled.
What’s more? We don’t only handle appliance disposal; we can help with other items you don’t need, including furniture, mattresses, and other waste items. And unlike most waste disposal/ junk removal companies, we are very affordable.
Give us a call today!