If you have old or broken appliances that you want to get rid of, you might be wondering what is the best way to do so. Appliances are not like regular trash that you can just toss in the bin and forget about. They contain valuable materials that can be recycled, as well as hazardous components that can harm the environment and human health if not handled properly. Therefore, it is important to dispose of your appliances responsibly and safely, following the guidelines below.
- Check if your appliance is still working or repairable. If your appliance is still in good condition, or can be fixed with minor repairs, you might want to consider donating it to a charity or a local nonprofit organization that can use it or give it to someone in need. This way, you can extend the life of your appliance and help someone else at the same time. You can search online for organizations that accept appliance donations in your area, or contact them directly to see if they have any specific requirements or preferences. Some examples of organizations that accept appliance donations are Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salvation Army, Goodwill, and local churches or shelters. Make sure to clean your appliance before donating it, and remove any personal data or information from it if applicable.
- Find out if your city offers curbside collection and recycling services for appliances. Some cities have special programs that allow residents to dispose of their appliances at the curb, either for free or for a small fee. You will need to check with your local solid waste hauler to see if they offer this service, and if so, what are the rules and regulations for it. You might have to schedule your appliance pickup ahead of time, and prepare your appliance for collection by unplugging it, tying up the cord, removing any doors or drawers, and draining any fluids from it. You can also check if your city has a drop-off location where you can bring your appliance for recycling.
- Contact a professional appliance removal company. If your city does not offer curbside collection and recycling services for appliances, or if you prefer a more convenient option, you can hire a professional appliance removal company to take care of your appliance disposal for you. There are many companies that specialize in appliance removal and recycling, such as Budget Dumpster, Rhino Dumpster Rental, 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Junk King, and College Hunks Hauling Junk. These companies will come to your home, pick up your appliance, and haul it away for recycling or proper disposal. They will also charge you a reasonable fee based on the size and weight of your appliance, and the distance they have to travel.
- Take your appliance to a recycling center or a scrapyard. If you have a vehicle that can transport your appliance, and you want to make some money from it, you can take it to a recycling center or a scrapyard that accepts appliances. Recycling centers and scrapyards will pay you cash for your appliance based on the type and amount of metal it contains. Appliances are mainly composed of steel, which is the most recycled material in the U.S., but they also contain other valuable metals like copper and gold, especially in their electronic components. Before taking your appliance to a recycling center or a scrapyard, make sure to remove any non-metal parts from it, such as glass, plastic, rubber, or wood.
- Recycle small appliances at Best Buy or other electronics retailers. If you have small appliances that are mainly electronic, such as blenders, toasters, microwaves, coffee makers, hair dryers, or electric razors, you can recycle them at Best Buy or other electronics retailers that offer recycling programs for e-waste. Best Buy accepts up to three items per household per day for recycling, regardless of where you bought them or how old they are. They also offer trade-in offers and discounts on new products when you recycle certain items. Other electronics retailers that offer recycling programs for e-waste are Staples, Office Depot, and Apple.
- Dispose of hazardous components safely. Some appliances contain hazardous components that need to be disposed of safely and separately from the rest of the appliance. For example, refrigerators and freezers contain refrigerants that can deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming if released into the atmosphere. Microwaves contain capacitors that can store high-voltage electricity even after being unplugged. TVs and monitors contain cathode ray tubes (CRTs) that contain lead and mercury. These components should not be thrown in the trash or mixed with other recyclables. They should be handled by trained professionals who can remove them safely and dispose of them according to local regulations. You can contact your local hazardous waste facility or a certified appliance recycler to find out how to dispose of these components properly.
By following these guidelines, you can dispose of your old or broken appliances responsibly and safely, while also helping the environment and saving some money. Remember to always check the condition of your appliance before disposing of it, and to look for the best option available in your area. You can also search online for more information and resources on appliance disposal and recycling, such as Earth911, EPA, Energy Star, and Recycle Nation.