While with proper maintenance and timely repair, household appliances can serve for decades, they eventually go out of order. At some point, repairs stop being effective, and you need to look for a new unit.
When the replacement finally arrives, what do you do with your old appliance? By disposing of it properly, you don’t just make space for a new machine. You care for the environment.
Let’s take a closer look at how to utilize old appliances the right way.
1. Sell or Donate the Appliance
If your appliance is still operating, you can sell or donate it. Many people replace appliances because they are outdated or don’t suit the family’s changing needs. List the appliance on eBay or other resale websites.
You can also donate the appliance through Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, or Goodwill.
According to experts from Tampa appliance repair, Hartman, if an appliance needs a minor repair, many homeowners opt for it to increase the machine’s value.
2. Look for a Recycling Service
If you aren’t planning to donate or sell the unit, you can recycle it. To do that, you don’t usually have to carry the appliance anywhere. You could call the recycling service so a team comes and picks up your appliance.
In some states, local energy providers offer pick-up services. You could also get an energy voucher for recycling through them. Meanwhile, your local Public Works Department should also provide a pick-up service. However, you should expect to pay a fee for it.
When choosing a recycling service, read up on it. You want to make sure that your appliance ends up in the right place instead of being dumped on the side of the road.
- Use EPA Responsible Appliance Disposal Program
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is running a RAD (Responsible Appliance Disposal) program. It involves picking up appliances and disposing of them properly in order to minimize the effect on the environment.
Many companies collaborate with the RAD program to provide disposal services. When you are planning to utilize an old appliance through a company, ask them about the RAD partnership.
How to Prepare Appliances for Recycling
If you plan to recycle a large appliance, you need to prep it for the process.
- Unplug the appliance at least 24 hours before recycling so it cools down properly.
- Clean the appliance as well as you can.
- If you are recycling an air conditioner or fridge, you have to make sure that the recycling company removes Freon. If not, you have to arrange professional Freon removal before recycling.
- Tape all doors with tape so they don’t open while the item is being transported.
- If you are transporting a large appliance on your own, arrange for a dolly and a truck.
Before you contact a recycling center, speak with the company that delivers a new appliance. In some cases, it offers utilizing services. So you can receive the new appliance and get rid of the old one simultaneously.
Why You Should Recycle Old Appliances
About 75% of an average appliance is made of steel. Steel is the most recyclable material in the United States. By recycling the appliance, you give steel a new life and take care of the environment.
Meanwhile, if an appliance is disposed improperly, the environment could suffer from:
- Release of hazardous substances like oil, PCBs, and mercury.
- Excess greenhouse gas emissions (methane, carbon dioxide)
- Release of ozone-depleting substances from refrigerants.
Many appliance manufacturers and distributors are willing to give consumers credit for recycling old appliances. In many cases, you can get a sizable discount on a new unit by recycling the old one.
Since appliances contain valuable steel, they are highly recyclable. If you can’t find a way to sell or donate an appliance, you can always recycle. Proper disposal doesn’t just minimize the negative effect on the environment, it gives your appliance a new life.
The easiest way to utilize an appliance is to exchange it for a discount on a new one. When you are looking for a new unit, consider choosing manufacturers and distributors with a recycling program.