What to Do With Old Appliances
How to Handle Appliance Disposal
When your old appliances start breaking down, it helps to know your options for getting rid of them. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to dispose of old appliances in your local area, all you have to do is a little research to determine whether your appliance should be donated, recycled or thrown out.
Assess the Condition of Your Old Appliances
Not all appliances are created equal, especially if you bought your microwave from a lesser-known brand name on Black Friday. But even if you have no reason to doubt the manufacturer, there are some tell-tale signs that your old appliance is ready for the junkyard:
- 10 Years or Older: Most appliances are built to last between 10 and 20 years, though your mileage may vary depending on manufacturing defects and the build quality of your unit.
- Loud Noises: Most appliances are not supposed to sound like a blender filled with razor blades . If your fridge or microwave is making an unusually loud noise, it’s probably time to replace.
- Constant Repairs: If you find yourself fixing something on your appliance every six months, it’s time to give it the boot.
Option #1: Donate Your Appliances
If your appliance doesn’t have any major problems, and you simply want to update to a more efficient or stylish looking model, you can simply donate your old appliance. The organizations below generally accept large appliances as donations:
- Salvation Army: Offers both local pickup and drop-offs for large and small appliances.
- Habitat for Humanity: Accepts donations of large household appliances at ReStore locations.
- Local Charities and Shelters: Charities and shelters near you are always looking for useable appliances.
Option #2: Recycle It
If your appliance is in poor condition, or is broken beyond repair, then the next best thing you can do is recycle it. Your options for recycling your appliance will differ based on what you are recycling and the options available near you. In general, you should be able to recycle things like refrigerators, freezers, and ovens using the local resources below.
- Transfer Station: If your city offers recycling, they will typically offer recycling stations for large appliances at a local transfer station or dump.
- Local Scrap Metal Recyclers: Metal recyclers will accept old appliances for sale as scrap.
- Sears RAD Program: When you purchase a new appliance, including a refrigerator, through Sears, they will take back your old one and send it to a recycling facility.
- Local Retailers: Many local retailers will also offer to recycle your old appliance upon purchase of a new one.
If you have trouble finding local resources for recycling large appliances, use Earth911’s recycling database to locate recycling facilities near you.
Option #3: Dispose of Your Old Appliances
If recycling isn’t an option for you, then your last option is to dispose of your old appliances. There are many options for appliance disposal in your local area; it’s simply a matter of finding the right solution for your particular appliance:
How to Dispose of Your Old Appliances
- Dumpster Rental: Most dumpster rental companies will accept large, non-refrigerant containing appliances for disposal. Additional fees may be imposed by local landfills ranging from $35 to $75. Ask your rental provider about what appliances you can throw in the dumpster beforehand.
- Municipal Pickup: Your city may offer collection and recycling services for large appliance disposal.
- Local Dump: Local landfills and transfer stations will accept large appliances, though additional fees and regulations may apply.
- Junk Removal Service: Local junk collectors will accept large appliances for either recycling or disposal, though fees can range from $50 to $100 depending on your location.
Important Note: How to Dispose of a Refrigerator Built Before 1995
Refrigerators and freezers built before 1995 contain chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants (commonly known as Freon). These substances are ozone-depleting chemicals that destroy the ozone layer, and are also powerful greenhouse gases. For that reason, older fridges or freezers must be properly drained before they can be disposed of inside a dumpster or at a local dump. Use the EPA’s list of certified refrigerant reclaimers to find a Freon recovery service near you, or simply search for one in your area.
Appliance Disposal FAQs
How do I know if my appliance can be disposed of in a dumpster in my area?
We accept large appliances for disposal in many of our service areas, but local disposal regulations vary considerably. Some cities may prohibit the disposal of ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers and other appliances in landfills, instead mandating that they be recycled through local companies or municipal services. Air conditioners and refrigerators with Freon may also not be accepted. Check with our customer service team before placing any large appliances inside your dumpster.
Why is there a fee?
Local landfills and transfer stations may impose additional fees for handling and processing large appliances. This cost is paid directly by the customer and is not charged by our company.
Have any other potentially difficult items to throw away? Check out our other disposal how-tos to learn more about disposing of electronics, mattresses and furniture.
Not sure how to dispose of your old appliances?
Call us at 1-866-284-6164 and we’ll answer any questions you have.