In the past, old appliances were typically dumped in landfills and because they do not naturally biodegrade, they remained there, taking up large amounts of valuable space. Old appliances can also leak dangerous chemicals into the ground and surrounding environment. Before you haul that old garage refrigerator to the curb, check to make sure how you should properly dispose of it. Here are some environmentally-friendly and lawful ways of disposing of your old appliance.
1.Donate your working appliance to charity
The following non-profit organizations accept used, working appliances. In addition to recycling your old appliance, you might also be eligible for a charitable tax deduction.
The Salvation Army
St. Vincent de Paul
Habitat for Humanity ReStores
Check to make sure that the local organization or branch is accepting used, working appliances at this time and whether you must arrange for pickup or drop off of your appliance.
2. Contact a local appliance repair training school, trade school or non-profit that offers appliance repair training
Some vocational schools and non-profit agencies that offer appliance repair training programs accept appliances to use in their training. Check to see if such a school or program exists near you and whether they accept appliance donations.
3. Get cash for your old appliance through your utility company
Check with your local electric, water or gas provider to see if they offer a rebate program for your old appliance, or use the ENERGY STAR Partners Rebate finder to find one.
4. Use a scrap metal recycler
These businesses will haul away your old appliance and safely dismantle and recycle the appliance in an environmentally responsible manner. The metal, glass and plastic parts of your old appliance will be recycled, while other parts can be used as fuel to generate new electricity.
The costs for hauling away your old appliance varies. Check with your local utility or government office to see if they already partner with a scrap metal recycling company.
5. Contact your municipal public works department or waste management company
Your town, city or waste management company might already have rules in place for how to dispose of your appliance or electronics. Many states have passed “e-waste recycling” laws which prohibit electronics such as computers, monitors, TVs, keyboards, printers, and tablets from being disposed of by the curb or with other household trash.
Many states have set up designated municipal drop-off locations where items can be dropped off to be recycled. Find an e-waste recycling location near you.
Remember, you can be held liable and fined if you do not handle the disposal of your old appliance or electronics correctly.
Helpful Recycling Links
How to recycle washers, clothes dryers, refrigerators and other electronic items:
Energy Star Guide to recycling appliances
EPA - Where to find a place to recycle old electronics including cell phones, batteries, computers and other electronic accessories:
How to Recycle or Donate Used Electronics
EPA's Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program
Special Offers and Rebates from ENERGY STAR Partners