Updated: May 22
including fridges, freezers, and washers. Many ovens, stoves, and microwaves are also suitable for appliance recycling.
Appliance recycling transforms old washers, fridges, and stoves into usable materials. Here’s how to find appliance recycling programs and old-appliance pickup services in your area.
How Do You Recycle Appliances?
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, one of the simplest ways to recycle appliances is through the "Responsible Appliance Disposal program". You can find your local RAD program through the EPA's website.
Many RAD programs will collect your old appliance from your home and take it to a local facility for appliance recycling. The program supports facilities to follow best practice guidelines for recycling appliances and disposing of non-recyclable components to minimize negative impacts on the environment.
If you can't access a RAD program where you live, you could contact your state energy office, utility company, or local waste management division to find out if they offer appliance recycling services. Some organizations pay a small fee — usually between $10 and $50 — to encourage people to upgrade to an energy-efficient model while recycling their old appliances instead of sending them to landfills.
Finally, you could consider contacting a nearby scrap metal recycling facility to dispose of your old appliance. However, it's important to check that the company follows best practices when recycling appliances.
How Do I Dispose of Appliances That Cannot Be Recycled?
After you take your appliance to a disposal facility, a technician will remove any dangerous components and materials such as refrigerants and mercury before sending it to a landfill. Occasionally, appliances are sealed and sent to a landfill whole.
Appliances that are non-recyclable and too old or damaged will need to be disposed of at a landfill. Sending your appliance to a landfill should be a last resort because appliances aren't biodegradable, so they will remain there indefinitely, causing environmental damage.
Never be tempted to dispose of your old appliance by leaving it on the side of the road. Many appliances contain potentially harmful materials that could damage the environment or pose a risk to local wildlife.
Appliances contain materials such as metal, glass, and plastic that can be reused to make new products. Sometimes, the refrigerants used in fridges and freezers can also be removed and reused. Foam insulation can also be treated and turned into fuel pellets.
Nearly 60 tons of e-waste—discarded products with a battery or plug—were generated globally in 2019, according to the United Nations Global E-waste Monitor, Large appliances make up a quarter of that waste. The amount of e-waste continues to grow every year and is predicted to exceed 81 tons by 2030, making it the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream.
Disposing of a bulky appliance like a fridge or washing machine can seem like a daunting task, but it's important to minimize damage to the environment by recycling appliances whenever possible.
Do Retailers Take Old Appliances?
Many retailers will haul away old appliances for recycling at the same time as delivering new ones. You may need to pay an extra fee for appliance removal. For example, The Home Depot will remove most freestanding domestic appliances for recycling. However, technicians from The Home Depot won't remove most commercial appliances or built-in fridges, freezers, or cooktops. Prices depend on the appliance type and your location.
Best Buy offers an appliance recycling service for most domestic appliances, including:
Washers and dryers
Fridges and freezers
Best Buy charges a flat fee of $29.99 for haul-away if you purchase a replacement appliance and have it delivered through Geek Squad or Best Buy Home Delivery. If you're disposing of a washer, you'll need to disconnect it before Best Buy will collect it. Unlike many retailers, Best Buy will also remove appliances even if you don't purchase a replacement for a flat fee of $99.99.
IKEA offers free appliance pickup with the purchase of a new appliance. Your old appliance will be disposed of in an IKEA-approved fashion for free.
Costco provides this service for your old appliances if you are buying new appliances from them. Costco’s warranty for your new appliances covers any damage to the unit during transport, as well as a guarantee that you will receive a replacement appliance within 48 hours of reporting a problem.
We hope this article helps to prevent yet another hunk of metal from entering a landfill