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Best Ways to Dispose of or Donate Unwanted Appliances

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You probably have plans to recycle and reuse your packing materials and unwanted goods, but what about the items that can only be thrown away? Certain items are easier -- both physically and emotionally -- to throw away than others, but disposing of appliances is not the same as throwing away expired food. Taking the time to properly get rid of your larger goods, whether trashing or donating, can help you avoid fines and moving unnecessary items.

Many states fine individuals who leave certain types of waste curbside. If you have a landlord who is fined for your improper waste disposal, then this could affect your security deposit. Your moving budget may include the money received from that deposit, so it's especially important that you throw away your goods properly to have your money returned to you.

Throw away larger appliances before moving

Large items, like refrigerators and ovens, that have broken or grown obsolete will need to be thrown away. The following list contains suggestions on how to throw away some larger goods:

  • Refrigerators and freezers: In order to throw away your refrigerator and freezer, you'll need to remove all the oil and refrigerant gas inside the unit. Depending on your waste management facility's policies, you may be required to have these substances removed by a certified technician. The technician would then need to place a tag on the refrigerator to indicate that it has been properly emptied.

  • Washers or dryers: The best way to dispose of a washer and dryer is to recycle them. If you bring them to a scrap yard, you might even get $20 in return for the eco-conscious disposal. Because they are so large, it's important not to let them end up in a landfill.

  • Ovens: Not only can you bring conventional ovens to a scrap metal facility, but you can drop off toaster ovens, convection ovens and microwaves. You may also be able to leave these items on your curb if your waste management facility provides metal disposal service.

Some stores sometimes offer haul-away service

When buying a new appliance, ask the sales representative if they will take the old appliance. Some retailers will offer this service for a fee added on top of the delivery charge. For example, a store like Sears will haul away your old appliance for only $10 extra! This will save you time and the chance of damaging any other part of your house while moving the appliance outside. 

Stores will not offer this service without a purchase. 

Recycle or reuse large appliances that are no longer useful

  • If you are moving, and your older appliances are not in working order, see if it's possible to recycle them. Call your local community recycling program and ask if they have an environmental initiative that accepts older appliances.

  • Otherwise, contact a scrap metal recycler. They will even pay a small amount for your metal, based on weight!

  • If you want to ditch items in good condition, leave them to be picked up curbside by a passerby. Ditching your items won't typically make a profit, but at least your goods may get reused. If you bring any large items to the curb for someone to take, post an alert on a website like Craig's List or on the Nextdoor app.

Donate your unwanted appliances to a non-profit organization

You can drop easier to move appliances at the Salvation Army, or if you have the time to wait, they will pick up the appliance from your house. All donations to this non-profit are tax-deductible.

Other charities, like Habitat for Humanity, take commonly thrown away fixtures that you might not have thought about donating. The list includes:

  • Sinks, toilets, and bathtubs: These types of fixtures need to be clean and show no major defective issue.

  • Cabinets: Remodeling a kitchen is a very common task that many homeowners go through. People tend to throw out old cabinets, but someone else may be able to use it for their own kitchen.

  • Doors and windows: This includes both internal and external doors that have little damage. Inspect the windows and doors for any holes or alterations.

  • Beds: Disassemble your bed and separate any metal parts (the bed frame) from the wooden parts (the headboard).

Calling a junk removal company to move your old appliances

There are companies that specifically handle taking away all types of junk, including old appliances. A reliable junk removal company will properly dispose of your unwanted appliances without harming the environment or contributing hazardous waste to landfills.

Many municipalities have a day when you can leave certain large appliances for public workers remove. Additionally, they will have a designated dump area that you can drop off larger items, like refrigerators.

How to decide the method of disposal

If you're unsure of the best way to get rid of an appliance, ask yourself these questions first.

  1. Does the appliance still work? If the item is still in good working condition, allow someone less fortunate the ability to use it. Many charities will resell or donate your old appliances to help those in need.

  2. Can it be recycled? Recycling appliances that are mostly steel will conserve both energy and natural resources while diminishing harmful waste in local landfills.

  3. Do you live on an easily accessible street? Before you leave something curbside for local pick-up, think realistically about where you live. Is your street easy to get to? Do you live on a main road? Be smart about where you leave the appliance -- you don't want to put anyone's life at risk during pick-up.

Patrick Hanan  Posted by Patrick Hanan on November 5, 2018

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