If you're replacing your fridge or range, chances are it's either fun (yay, renovation!) or a hassle (boo, broken). In both cases, you'll probably end up with the "What do I do with the old one?" conundrum.
We asked Vanessa Lepice of Earth911, an online resource for all things environmental, to give us the 411 on junking old appliances. It turns out you have options — and you might even be able to make some money!
1. Pay the store to take them.
When you buy a new appliance, you can usually pay the delivery guys a nominal fee — anywhere from $15 to $25 — to take away the old one for you. It might not be the cheapest, but at least it's easy. Unfortunately, you can't just pay the stores to haul off an old appliance without a new purchase.
2. Ask your town to take them.
See if your town, city, or county offers some kind of recycling program. "Some municipalities provide pick-up for free or a fee," says Lepice. You can search by zip code here.
3. Sell them for cash.
Appliances that are still in working order are totally worth money. Just post them on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace and see if there are any takers!
Even appliances that don't run are still potentially someone else's treasure: Many can be stripped for parts. "Because large appliances contain recyclable materials such as metal, plastic, and glass, you may be able to sell them to a scrap metal company in your area," Lepice says.
4. Give 'em away.
If that old fridge or range still runs but you either don't get any buyers or are feeling altruistic, you may be able to donate a usable large appliance to a Habitat ReStore, Salvation Army, or other charitable organization — and get a tax deduction.
"Ask your local nonprofit if they accept large appliances and their specific criteria to accept the appliance," says Lepice. Try a search on the adorably named website Donation Town to find local charities that might even pick it up for you! If all else fails, you can probably unload it with ease on The Freecycle Network.
5. Pay a commercial junk hauler.
If the above tips don't work for you, there are plenty of commercial "junk" companies that'll take anything away if you pay them — but be sure they'll do it responsibly.
"When selecting a hauler, ask if the material will be disposed of in a landfill or recycled," says Lepice. "An EPA study shows that since 2006, 6.5 million refrigerated appliances have been recycled, which diverted 1.1 billion pounds of material from landfills and avoided emissions equivalent to 6.4 million passenger cars." Do your part.
Did you get rid of an appliance recently? How'd you do it?