10 Responsible and Creative Ways to Dispose of Old Appliances

Every homeowner will inevitably end up with large unwanted appliances. Whether you’re replacing a broken refrigerator or installing a new range, your question will be “What do I do with the old one?” The disposal problem is more complicated if you care about the environment and are committed to responsible recycling. Here are nine suggestions for responsible disposal of your old appliance.

  1. Pay the Dealer to Take it Away

When you purchase a new appliance, it’s often possible to arrange for the store to take away your old one. You may have to pay a fee.

  1. Trade It In

Check with your local utility company to find out if they have a removal service for an older, energy-guzzling appliance. You might even be offered a rebate on a new more energy-efficient model.

  1. Ask Your Town to Take it

Your town, city, or county may have a recycling program. Many municipalities provide a pick-up service either for free or for a small charge. You can search for such a program by zip code here.

  1. Wait for a Dump Day

Locales of all sizes often host “dump days” in which residents can dispose of working and non-working appliances. Check with your city information office on the dates for dump days or recycling events.

  1. Find a RAD Partner

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) runs the Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program to dispose of older, inefficient refrigerated appliances using the best environmental practices and technologies available. RAD partners send appliances to approved recycling facilities. Find a RAD partner in your area by clicking here.

  1. Donate it

If your old appliance still runs, you can donate it to a charitable organization such as Habitat ReStore or the Salvation Army. Other sources are churches and community thrift stores. Try searching online sites such as Donation Town for a local charity or check out the Freecycle Network. Donating your appliance will make you feel good and you will also get a tax deduction.

  1. Contact the Military

Most Air Force bases have a donation site called Airman’s Attic. You can donate an appliance as long as it’s operational. Airman’s attic assists young airmen and their families to set up their households. Other branches of the military probably have similar programs.

  1. Sell it for Cash

If your old appliance is still working well, try advertising it in your neighborhood newspaper or posting it on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist.

  1. Have Some Fun With it

Check out some ideas from Bob Vila of This Old House on how to transform appliances of all sizes or parts of appliances into something original and creative. For instance, you can make a fire pit for your backyard out of your old washing machine’s drum or turn your old refrigerator’s coil into a vintage-style backdrop for artwork. Click this link to see all of Bob’s creative ideas. However, if you cannibalize parts of your appliance, make sure the remaining components are disposed of responsibly.

  1. Pay a Private Junk Hauler

Private junk haulers specialize in the business of assisting homeowners and businesses with the removal of old appliances and large, bulky items. Contact local providers in your area for quotes. Just remember to ask about their recycling and donation policies, and what their company’s commitment to responsible waste management and sustainability.



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