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Everything You Need to Know About Recycling Old Appliances

Posted By On July 11 2022
Everything you need to know about recycling old appliances

When it comes to home renovations, what to do with your old appliances is usually the last thing you think of. 

However, it can also be one of the most inconvenient and time-consuming issues you face. What do you do with old refrigerators, stoves, or dishwashers? 

There are options to help you deal with these items. You can take them to the landfill when you know they do not qualify for recycling. 

For example, in some washing machines circa 1970, mercury was used in their construction. This needs to be carefully extracted before the machine is taken to the landfill and must be handled by a professional prior to disposal.

Additionally, the items can be sold on sites like Craigslist or Kijiji. Or, you can take them to scrap metal merchants where you could get some money. 

However, this can take up a lot of time and research, and present other issues, especially if you consider using your own vehicle.

Luckily, a bin rental from Scarborough Disposal Ltd. takes the worry and stress out of recycling these items for you. 

After removing the products from the premises, Scarborough Disposal Ltd. will sort them through and appropriately recycle them.

What household appliances can be recycled?

The simple answer is that all appliances can be recycled. Here is a quick and simple list of items that can be recycled to give you an idea.

  • Stoves and ranges
  • Refrigerators and freezers
  • Air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and humidifiers
  • Microwaves and toasters
  • Lawnmowers and weed whackers
  • Washing machines and dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Home entertainment systems
  • Home computers and laptops

Everything can be recycled; it’s the how that you need to be aware of. 

With the environmental impact of landfills and waste disposal being at the forefront for a lot of people, the EPA has issued guidelines on how and where to dispose of certain household items. 

This looks at issues like the impact of greenhouse gases produced from things like the cooling agents and chemicals used in modern refrigerators and the proper way to remove them so that the rest of the unit can be broken down for recycling. 

Items such as washing machines and dryers, microwaves, and even lawnmowers can be broken down into reusable parts and taken to charity donation centres or to local schools for parts to be used in projects and other activities. 

Any item that doesn’t contain chemicals can be easily broken down.

Which household items need special care for recycling or disposal?

Items that use chemicals to provide a service do, in fact, require special handling.

Air conditioning units and refrigerators use freon as a cooling agent. Items such as dehumidifiers made prior to 2010 used hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC), and these are thought to add to harmful greenhouse gases when improperly handled. 

As well, they are proving to be poisonous and have potential cancer-causing qualities.

Older appliances, including appliances made prior to 1980, often used heavy metals in their construction. This can lead to soil issues when disposed of at landfills. The toxins in the metals leach out into the soil and can compromise the soil integrity. 

Many appliances were also made from specific plastics that do not break down over time and thus must be recycled in certain ways. 

Or, some appliances manufactured prior to 2005 used a certain insulating foam that has been proven toxic, contributing to the destruction of the ozone when left in landfill sites.

Even simple items like toaster ovens or baby bottle warmers from the early 1900s to 1980 used chemicals such as asbestos and fireproofing. 

Though it is highly unlikely you have a toaster that old still working in your house, it is something to consider. A full list of items that used to contain asbestos can be found here

New appliances are designed to protect the environment with environmentally friendly materials and operations—such as cold water washes for washing machines, or energy-saving features on dishwashers. 

However, older appliances were “made to last”, so their construction typically involved what is now considered more risky components.

Which household items can be safely broken down?

Products such as microwaves, stove tops, ranges, and lawnmowers can all be dismantled safely by you, the consumer. 

This is because they do not use chemicals as part of their operation. Microwaves, for example, do not contain any radioactive materials.

These items can be dismantled and taken to recycle centres, charity donations, or scrap metal agents. 

All modern components can be recycled, such as metal, wires, and ceramics. Of course, the parts must still be in good working order for them to be reusable. 

If the appliance is completely non-functional prior to being dismantled, then the parts may not be of any use. 

Even items such as home computers, stereo systems, and home entertainment products can be taken to refurbishment centres, where they can be repaired and reused. 

You can call Earth911 for information on where you can take these items, either before or after you have dismantled them.

Why use Scarborough Disposal Ltd. for recycling appliances?

We take the hard work out of the research and subsequent removal of the appliances. 

For example, if you are looking to dispose of a refrigerator, there is a risk involved when using your own vehicle. You can damage the interior of the vehicle when lifting it in and out, as well as potentially hurting yourself in the process. 

Incorrectly loading multiple large items into the back of your truck can cause issues if they are not secured or loaded properly.

A bin rental is the easiest way to get rid of the big items when you are working on renovations or simply replacing worn-out and broken-down items. 

Not only do we remove the items, but we also ensure that they are properly recycled, and all safety guidelines are followed. 

Call Scarborough Disposal Ltd. at 416-265-7979 to learn about bin rentals in Scarborough and Pickering, or contact us here for more information today.

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