Recycling Your Old Appliance

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Reduce, Re-Use and Recycle are three words that environmentalists take seriously. But these words resonate much farther than just in the environmentalist communities. Average people are well informed about the environment and are doing more to help protect it. Going “green” can be as simple as taking refundable soda cans to the local depot or donating clothes that your kids have out-grown. Other simple ideas include re-using old craft supplies or composting table scraps. But what about when you need to get rid of some really big household items? The 3 R’s seem to become more complicated when you’re faced with disposal of large items like appliances. Here are some tips to help you figure out what to do with your old refrigerator or stove.

Does your old appliance still work?

Maybe you’ve updated your kitchen and purchased new appliances but your old ones still work great. The first thing you should do is to check out your local donation programs. Many programs offer local pick-up service and have lists of families in need that would be happy to have a working appliance. Your neighborhood Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity are great places to start or you can also check out here for more information and charitable organizations.

You can also check out your local Bounty and Municipal Programs. A quick call to your electric utility will let you know if a program is available in your area. In general, the appliances must be working and meet certain conditions to qualify but if they do you could be in line for a nice little rebate. Your municipality will let you know if they will pick up your old appliance or where you can drop it off for disposal. To get more details check out the Environmental Protection Agency’s FAQ on disposing appliances or call your municipality.

Refrigerants Need Special Attention

Refrigerators, dehumidifiers and air conditioners all contain dangerous refrigerants, like Freon, which can damage the ozone if not properly disposed. If you have one of these appliances and they are no longer in working order or do not qualify for one of the above programs, visit the US Environmental Protection Agency’s website for tips on proper disposal. Never attempt to remove refrigerants yourself as they can harm you as well as the environment.

Keeping our environment safe and protecting it for our children is everyone’s responsibility. Make sure that you evaluate all of your options before getting rid of your old appliances. Choosing the option that helps out your community and doesn’t harm the environment makes everyone a winner.