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Waste & Recycling March 15, 2022 03:30:54 AM

How to Dispose of Your Old Kitchen Appliances Correctly

Waste Advantage
ScrapMonster Author
One option if you are purchasing a new appliance is to request the pickup of your old unit from the retailer when your new appliance is delivered.

How to Dispose of Your Old Kitchen Appliances Correctly

SEATTLE (Waste Advantage): According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), approximately 5.3 million tons of major appliances are disposed of every year. Rather than sending your broken fridges and dishwashers to a landfill, there are much better ways to dispose of them. Today, less than one sixth of appliances are properly recycled. Not only do large appliances take up space in landfills, but they also rust and expel harmful waste into the environment.

The Dangers Of Improper Appliance Disposal

One such example laid out by the EPA is the refrigerant used in household refrigerators and freezers made prior to 1995 which contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFCs). CFCs and HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) are substances that destroy the ozone layer if released into the atmosphere. They are also greenhouse gasses which contribute to global warming. In addition to refrigerators, many older window air conditioning units and dehumidifiers contain HCFCs. Newer appliances do not contain these ozone-depleting substances, but proper disposal is still an imperative because of the greenhouse gasses they contain.

Kitchen appliances can also contain other hazardous components such as oil, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBS). For example, some refrigerators manufactured before 2000 contain components with elements of mercury. For this reason, it is crucial that your old appliances end up in the right hands.

What To Do With Broken Appliances

If your kitchen appliance is broken beyond repair, then it should be recycled. Almost all of the components of a freezer or refrigerator can be recycled. This includes the metal cabinet, plastic liner, glass shelves, the refrigerant and oil, as well as the blowing agent contained in polyurethane foam insulation. Although Market Watch says that kitchen appliance recycling is increasing, most appliances still end up in landfills.

One option if you are purchasing a new appliance is to request the pickup of your old unit from the retailer when your new appliance is delivered. The retailers will then dispose of the appliance properly and ensure it is recycled for parts. For those looking to buy a new washer, you may be wondering whether a front-loader or top-loader is best. According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers, most Americans buy top-loaders. Top loading machines require less maintenance than front-loaders but are not as effective at removing tough stains. Both get the job done though – and in the end it may simply be a matter of what fits best into your home.

A Case-By-Case Recycling Basis

If you are not in the market for a new appliance, the procedure to follow depends on your municipality. For example, some municipalities require you to make an appointment for a bulky item collection, while others require you to personally haul the item to your local transfer station. If you need to get rid of a bulky kitchen appliance, make sure to contact your local municipality to find out the correct procedure. Small appliances such as toasters and coffee makers cannot be recycled by your local curbside recycling program as these are typically not equipped to handle small electronics. Rather, these should be recycled through a company that specializes in recycling electronics. Earth 911 has a recycling locator you can use to find appropriate recycling facilities near you.

 Courtesy: www.wasteadvantage.com           

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