Large appliances like washing machines, clothes dryers, hot water heaters, microwaves, ovens, dehumidiers, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and furnaces are a big source of waste in the U.S. – but they don’t have to be a big pain to recycle. With the help of new state regulations and more recycling programs it’s becoming easier and easier to recycle large appliances.
Frequent Large Appliance Recycling Questions
What qualifies as a ‘large appliance?’
Typical large appliances include washing machines, clothes dryers, hot water heaters, microwaves, ovens, dehumidiers, stoves, refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and furnaces and are sometimes referred to as “major appliances.”
How do I prepare a large appliance for disposal or recycling?
This depends on the product, but in general you will not need to prepare your appliance. Sometimes you will need to find a recycler who will remove any hazardous fluids or parts from your appliance, but this is unusually part of the recycling process, and you will not need to do anything to the appliance yourself.
With refrigerators, it is recommended that you secure or remove the door to prevent injury to those who will move it and to prevent children from playing in it.
Can I get money for these items?
Yes, it is possible to get money for your large appliances. If the appliances are still in working order, you can sell them. If they no longer work and you wish to recycle them, try to find a program that will give you cash.
The EPA’s Energy Star Program provides a list of special offers and rebates for recycling large appliances when you purchase new Energy Star models.
Some utility companies may also offer discounts on your bill if you upgrade to more energy efficient appliances.
Do I have to pay to recycle them?
Depending on where you live, you may have to pay a fee to recycle your large appliances. Some municipalities, including Madison, Wisc., require that residents buy “appliance fee stickers” which are put on appliances so they can be set out with curbside recycling. Check with your city or town for more information or jump to the recycling locator for local recycling options.
Will companies come pick up my old large appliances?
Yes, some recycling companies and municipal recycling programs will pick up your large appliances, so check for options in your area jump to the recycling locator to find a recycler near you.
Are there laws surrounding the disposal of these products?
Yes. Many states require that large appliances are recycled. Certain appliances like refrigerators or freezers must also have liquids like refrigerants removed, so check your local regulations before disposing of large appliances. Visit the EPA’s list of Responsible Appliance Disposal Program (RAD) Partners and Affiliates for information about recyclers.
How are refrigerators recycled?
Refrigerators are filled with chemicals that are harmful to the environment so it’s important that you recycle them properly. Watch this video below to see how many appliance recycling facilities operate.
Help others recycle large appliances by sharing this on Pinterest.