New Programs Highlight Appliance Recycling

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The average lifespan of most household appliances is less than 10 years, and most new appliances are being optimized for energy-efficiency and use of recycled material. Whole Foods and Seattle Coffee Gear are offering new programs to capitalize on the demand for new appliances by encouraging the recycling and trade-in of old coffee makers and refrigerators.

Seattle Coffee Gear's program offers store credit for recycling your old coffee maker. Photo: Sustainableisgood.com

Seattle Coffee Gear’s program offers store credit for recycling your old coffee maker. Photo: Sustainableisgood.com

Give Your Fridge the Cold Shoulder

Whole Foods Market and Bosch Home Appliances have launched their “Recycle Your Old Fridge” sweepstakes. From now through April 30, you can enter to win one of 11 Bosch ENERGY STAR refrigerators, which will also include installation and removal/recycling of an old refrigerator. The campaign is part of Whole Foods and Bosch’s 30-day campaign called “Make a Green Change.”

An ENERGY STAR-certified refrigerator can use half the energy of a fridge manufactured prior to 1993, which translates to an annual energy bill savings of about $55.

Refrigerators are commonly manufactured with steel, which allows magnets to stick to the front door. Steel is an infinitely recyclable material, as well as much of the plastic that is found inside the unit. Another important reason to recycle these appliances is that they contain Freon, a greenhouse gas that can be released into the environment if a fridge is disposed of improperly.

In many cases, refrigerator recycling costs money because there is a fee to safely dispose of Freon. Whole Foods has not made an announcement regarding assistance for the disposal of non-contest winners’ fridges.

A New Wake Up Call

In an unrelated program, Seattle Coffee Gear is offering a trade-in and recycling program for all types of coffee machines. By filling out an evaluation form, you can ship the machine to the company’s Lynnwood, Wash. headquarters and receive store credit toward the purchase of a new machine. The program will accept any brand of coffee maker, and machines with no trade-in value can still be shipped for recycling.

Many modern coffee makers have electronic components such as clocks and timers, which qualifies them as electronic waste. Similar to a computer or television, these machines have valuable metals and plastic inside that can be reused or reprocessed. Electronic products often use heavy metals, such as lead and mercury, in their circuitry. Recycling keeps these hazardous materials out of landfills.

Feature image courtesy of Polygon Realty Limited

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Trey Granger

Trey Granger

Trey Granger is a former senior waste stream analyst for Earth911.
Trey Granger