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There are thousands of ways we can be ‘green’ and help do our part to protect our environment. From recycling old newspapers and pop bottles to donating used clothing and furniture, it seems there is a way to recycle or reuse just about everything. So why is it many homeowners forget about recycling their old household appliances? When it comes time to dump that outdated or worn-out appliance, resist the urge to toss it in the dump and do your part to properly dispose or recycle it. As you’ll see, it can be as easy a phone call!
If you need to get rid of an old appliance the first thing you should do is call your electric utility and see if they offer a bounty program in your area. These programs can give you a rebate for your old, unwanted appliances. Generally, these appliances do have to meet certain requirements and be in working condition to qualify.
You can also try to arrange an appointment with your municipality to have your appliance picked up or
to find out where you can take them to be disposed. Find out more about these programs by calling your
municipality orchecking out the Environmental Protection Agency’s
FAQ on disposing appliances.
Why recycle an appliance when another family can reuse it? If you’re updating your home and have decided to get new appliances, you can donate your old appliances through various donation programs such as the Salvation Army. These organizations are a great way to get rid of any home appliance but they do need to be in working condition before they are accepted. If you’re interested in these types of programs, there are several options available here and here.
Appliances containing refrigerants need special attention when being disposed. Refrigerators, air conditioners, and dehumidifiers all contain dangerous refrigerants such as Freon, which can deplete the ozone if not properly disposed. If you need to get rid of one of these appliances and they do not qualify for one of the above programs, check out the US Environmental Protection Agency for proper disposal. Remember, never under any circumstance attempt to remove refrigerants yourself as they can cause you and the planet physical harm.
We all share the responsibility of keeping our communities and the environment safe and with so many options available, there’s no reason not to. So next time you’re thinking of throwing out an appliance, or anything else for that matter, make sure you stop and think about the safest and friendliest way to do so. If we all work together, we can make a difference.
For more information on recycling and proper household hazardous waste disposal:
Appliance Recycling Centers of America
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Natural Resources Canada
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