When we think of recycling, it may not occur to us that it's possible to recycle appliances. But they are actually great candidates for recycling!
In fact, when you choose to recycle appliances, you save a significant amount of landfill space as well as put valuable resources back into the manufacturing cycle.
How To Recycle Appliances
Of course, you could always "re-purpose" your old washing machine and turn it into a piece of garden art. But unless you're into that kind of thing, it's not likely you'll want your non-working appliances sitting in your yard.
Nor in your garage or basement.
So, short of illegal dumping - which you should never do since it's uncool and, well, illegal - the next best thing is to recycle appliances that aren't working any longer.
And the great thing about appliances is that there are programs and government-supported initiatives in many places throughout the country dedicated to appliance recycling. In fact, many states actually require that large appliances be kept out of landfills. These states, while not mandating that the appliances be recycled, have far more resources to facilitate appliance recycling.
Almost anyone can take their old appliances to a proper recycling facility.
Anyone, that is, with a truck or other suitable vehicle to transport large, bulky and heavy appliances in. Not to mention being able to get the washer, dryer, or refrigerator out of the house and out onto the driveway or curb.
And don't forget to plan for gas money, dumping fees and possibly truck rental with insurance.
Okay, so removing, loading, transporting, and disposing of large appliances is not necessarily an easy task. We get it. And if you don't have a truck or some reliable help, it can be easy to simply leave the thing sitting in your garage or on your back porch continuing to take up space.
If it is still in working condition you might be able to get someone to come and remove it for you and even give you a few dollars for it. Most old washing machines and dryers can easily fetch up to $200 in many cases.
But if you're not interested in putting your old machine up for sell and simply want to dispose of it in an environmentally responsible way, then perhaps the easiest route for appliance recycling is to call a professional junk hauling firm that also works with recyclers.
Junk King is committed to "green" and eco-friendly junk disposal practices and has been for almost 15 years. This way, you simply make the call and let the professionals do all the work.
Why It's Good to Recycle Appliances
Aside from the fact that recycling whatever you can, whenever you can, is a great way to help the environment, recycling appliances has other benefits.
According to the earth911.org website,
"Steel (the most recycled material in the U.S.) makes up 75 percent of the average appliance, and home appliances account for 10 percent of steel recycled in the U.S. each year."
In fact, it's been estimated that almost 99 percent of an average refrigerator can be recycled once the Freon or other refrigerant has been removed.
A Recyclebank article points out the value of recovering steel by recycling:
"The metal comes not only from cans but also from construction scraps, automobiles, and appliances, and it can be turned right back into steel that can be used in the same applications.”
Appliances often have motors that can yield copper and other valuable metals. Along with the steel that makes up the bulk of most appliances, many of them also have brass, aluminum and steel on them that can be separated and recovered.
And, since many appliances have circuit boards and even high-tech electronics on-board, there are nominal, yet valuable, amounts of rare metals that can be recovered, as well. We're referring to gold, silver, platinum and palladium here.
In addition, recycling keeps the large appliances out of the landfills and, in case of refrigerator and a/c units, it keeps hazardous waste from leaking into the ground and air.
Not sure if recycling is the best destination for your used appliance? This handy checklist can help you through the process:
Ultimately, the best destination for any large (or small) appliance that is not usable is a recycling facility.
Large household appliances, also known as 'white goods' in the industry, are almost completely recyclable, as we've noted. White goods such as refrigerators, freezers, stoves, washing machines, clothes dryers, and dishwashers can be recycled. And the good news is that many commercial recyclers will recycle your old white goods.
In addition to steel and other metals, white goods are constructed of plastics and costly materials which can also be recycled. By recycling white goods, you divert them from landfills and prevent toxic materials like heavy metals from penetrating into the soil and causing harm to the environment. In addition, you reduce greenhouse gas emission that result from the production of new materials.
Can I Recycle Appliances With Freon In Them?
The big problem with refrigerators and air conditioners is that they use fluorocarbons to chill air, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are a leading contributor to ozone depletion. The danger is that these CFCs can be released from a refrigerators dumped into landfills. However, they can be safely processed by an appliance recycler.
And it's not optional!
The EPA notes that,
"When household appliances are taken out of service, federal law requires that: (1) all refrigerant be recovered prior to dismantling or disposal (40 CFR Part 82 Subpart F); and (2) universal waste (e.g., mercury), used oil, and PCBs be properly managed and stored (40 CFR Parts 273, 279, 761).
State laws may have additional requirements. For example, in 2006, California introduced a law requiring entities that remove materials such as mercury, used oils, PCBs, and refrigerants from appliances be certified by the state (AB 2277 EXIT). Similarly, some states require that certain durable appliance materials be recycled. At this time, no federal or state laws require that appliance foam be recovered; however, the common practice of shredding and/or landfilling of foam represents a significant source of ODS and GHG emissions which could be avoided through foam recovery."
What this means in practice for owners of old appliances is that professional handling of your appliances is the best option.
What's the Best Way to Recycle Appliances? Call on Junk King!
Junk King is proud to be North America’s greenest junk removal service.
We pioneered recycling-based junk removal in 2005 and have been going green ever since. We sort each and every job for metals, e-waste, paper, household goods, textiles, furniture and appliances, in our recycling warehouses.
But “going green” also means we donate, re-purpose, and reuse everything we can. We also run many of our trucks run on biodiesel, which is a domestically produced fuel made from more environmentally friendly non-petroleum, renewable resources.
At Junk King, we are committed to leading the way to help keep our planet clean, green and beautiful for the generations to come.
So, are you ready to get rid of those old appliances? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3!
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865). Our professional and insured junk removal team will come to your home and we’ll call 15 minutes before we arrive on site. Once there we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your junk takes up in our truck, with no hidden fees.