Sooner or later, you will be faced with disposing of an appliance. It might be that spare fridge in the garage that finally died or a dishwasher that has to go during a kitchen renovation. No matter the reason, you will be left with the challenge of getting rid of something you no longer need: an electrical appliance.
As you think about where to recycle your microwave or how to dispose of your broken dishwasher, remember that you will have options. You also might make some money in the process. Here are some of your choices:
Stores often recycle old appliances
If you buy a new appliance, you can often pay a nominal fee to have their delivery people haul away the old one. It is relatively inexpensive—typically around $25—and very convenient. (Sometimes, the removal of the old appliance is part of the deal.)
Remember that these stores only offer this service if you buy an appliance from them; you cannot pay them to take away your broken appliance without purchasing a replacement.
Recycling electrical goods for charity is another way of getting rid of appliances that are still running. If you decide to donate an appliance, non-profit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and The Salvation Army often accept working appliances. Some charitable organizations offer pickup services, which means they get a usable appliance, and you get a tax deduction!
Take it to a disposal center
If you are concerned about how to recycle a microwave, you can take it to a disposal center yourself. With some help from a friend, you can hand-carry it to and from the trunk or backseat of a car. However, you will need a truck to transport those larger appliances. It is a good idea to call them ahead of time to make sure they accept your appliance or find out if there are fees. You can often recycle a toaster, and other small items, in a metal recycling bin.
Municipal or private trash collectors
If you have municipal or private trash service, check their website to see what services they provide or recommend how to dispose of appliances. Some services will pick up your appliances if you leave them at the curb. They might then charge you extra on your monthly bill. Other areas have specific bulky trash days, allowing residents to move their appliances to the curb for free pickup.
Talk to your utility company
Many utility companies offer an option of where to recycle appliances through government programs or on their own. Using this method could provide you with a refund, waiver, or, in some cases, cash. The only drawback is those utility companies usually only accept refrigerators and freezers.
Sell it online
If your appliance is still working, there might be a buyer for it. Post it on Craigslist, Freecycle, or Facebook Marketplace to find out if anyone is interested. Sometimes, you can find a taker even if the appliance no longer runs. Large appliances are made up of recyclable materials—metal, glass, and plastic parts—and even if they do not pay you for it, local scrap metal collectors may offer to pick it up for free.
This option works if you have the space to store the appliance until someone buys it. However, if you need to be rid of it quickly, you might have to pay for immediate removal.
Pay a commercial junk hauler
If all else fails, many commercial junk-removal companies will take practically anything away if you pay them. If you are worried about responsible appliance disposal, ask the hauler if the appliance will be recycled or taken to a landfill. A past EPA study indicated that nearly seven million refrigeration appliances had been recycled, keeping over one billion pounds of material out of landfills!
A word of caution: don’t take appliances apart yourself
Don’t disassemble larger appliances for parts or any other purpose. They could contain dangerous materials, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or poisonous foam insulation. Still, others may have pilot lights that contain toxic chemicals such as mercury.
Update your homeowners insurance after you renovate
If you are remodeling and replacing appliances, update your homeowners insurance coverage to reflect the increased value of your property. The insurance professionals at NSI Insurance Group can advise you. They can provide you with a competitive home insurance quote and answer all of your questions at 305-556-1488. If you prefer, fill out our home insurance contact form or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.