What Should I Do With My Broken Appliances?
Do you have a few broken appliances taking up space in your home or garage that you're looking to get rid of but don't know where to turn?
Did you know there’s a proper way to get rid of your old and broken appliances? Appliances can contain toxic materials, like used oil, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB). All these are dangerous to the health if released into the air or earth.
With proper disposal methods, trained personnel can take care of these toxic materials while making sure they don’t become a health risk.
Furthermore, proper disposal means proper recycling, which saves landfill space. Broken appliances contain materials, like metal and plastic. We can reuse these to also reduce waste.
The methods below are responsible ways of appliance disposal. Check out which one will work for you.
- Hire a Junk Removal Service
Many companies are willing to take the junk off of your home for a price. They’ll pick up the items from your home at the agreed schedule and then they’ll take it to their facility for disposal.
Make sure the junk removal company complies with the proper disposal techniques, though. If you’re paying someone to take it away, you might as well pay to make sure it’s properly recycled and doesn’t end up in a landfill. Take it as your contribution to saving the environment in small ways.
Appliances, in general, can produce a lot of scraps that are still useable. It’s a waste for them to go to a landfill, so you can also consider giving them to a scrapyard instead. Some will even pay you a small amount for the junk.
They’re also cheaper if you have a lot of broken appliances. Commercial junk haulers charge higher the bigger the space your junk takes up.
- Sell Your Broken Appliances for Cash
Even if you have no use for it anymore, someone out there may still benefit from it. Working or not, you can sell broken appliances for a small amount of money.
The working ones that are way below your standard are gold for some people. Even those that don’t run anymore can still be someone else’s treasure. People can strip them for parts, for instance.
If you’re unsure how much to charge for it, check the classified ads for similar items. Work out a fair price depending on how many years you’ve used it, how many repairs you’ve done, and its working state. Specify these things on the ad, too, so people know what they can expect when they pick it up.
Remember, you’re not in it to make a profit. At the least, you’re getting some pizza money for the broken appliances that will otherwise cost you money if you’re hiring a junk removal company to take it away.
- Donate It to an Organization
Some charities and organizations can take it off your hands for free. Examples are Habitat ReStore, Salvation Army, and so on.
Go online to check if a nonprofit organization is near you, and then ask what their requirements are. Your appliances need to still be usable, though, even if they’re not in great condition. You might also get a tax deduction benefit going this route.
If your appliances no longer work, theater groups might appreciate them still. They need some on occasion for props, and so they don’t need a working one.
They may even be willing to accept it if it looks rundown; they can be quite adept at repurposing things. Artsy people can, for example, repurpose a microwave oven as a terrarium.
You can also ask your friends or family members who are handy first. They might be able to make a weekend project out of your broken appliances if you give it to them.
They might have experience repairing large appliances, or – like the theater people – they may be able to breathe a new life into it.
- Ask Your Local Government
A department in your local government may also be running some sort of recycling program. In such a case, they’ll pick up your appliances and then handle the proper disposal themselves. Some do it for free while others charge you a fee.
Some towns have a schedule for such things. They may pick up appliances like refrigerators or microwaves from the curbside once or twice a month. This means the item is staying in your garage until pick-up day, but that wait is nothing compared to the stress of not knowing how to dispose of it properly.
Some cities may also require that you remove the compressors or refrigerants first. This isn’t a task you can take on, especially if you’re unaware of the dangers of mishandling it.
In this case, you’ll have to hire a certified technician to do it for you. Call a local contractor or ask for a recommendation from the municipality. If you’re unsure about any of their requirements, don’t hesitate to ask them for clarification.
- Give It to Back to the Store
Do you still remember which store you bought it from? Ask them if they can take the broken appliance out of your hands for you.
Sometimes, the store may take it away for free if you bought a new appliance from them. They can haul it away when they’ve delivered the new one to your house. You can also pay the delivery guys to do it for you.
You can also contact the manufacturer itself or any store participating in an environmental program. Best Buy and Staples, in particular, participate in the Environmental Protection Agency's eCycling Plug-In program. Ask them if they take broken appliances.
However, you might be shouldering the cost to post it to their premises, which is often the case. It can be quite expensive, but the good thing about this is that you won’t be stressing out about your broken appliances anymore.
Dispose of Broken Appliances Responsibly
Broken appliances don’t belong in the trash; they’ll only end up in a landfill instead of being of use again. With all these options, you should be able to find one that works with your schedule, budget, and other restrictions.
Do your part, no matter how little. If you need more assistance, feel free to check out our other posts for more tips.