Buying a new appliance can be exciting for homeowners, especially when upgrading to something far more efficient. At the same time, replacing an old refrigerator, dishwasher, washing machine, or other major appliance brings up the problem of what to do with the old one.
Most Americans don’t want to add more waste to landfills than necessary. Additionally, they wonder how to dispose of old appliances as responsibly as possible to minimize the impact on the environment.
They should be pleased to know that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has launched a program known as Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) for unwanted refrigerated appliances.
What is the RAD Partner Program?
Companies participating in the RAD Partner Program have registered with the EPA and promise to be as efficient as possible when disposing of old appliances. To make good on that promise, participants in the RAD Partner Program analyze materials from appliances they pick up and send the appliance to the most appropriate recycling facility.
Each facility has its own guidelines for handling potentially harmful or toxic substances in the old appliance to prevent environmental damage.
How Homeowners Can Prepare Old Appliances for Recycling
Since the RAD Partner Program only accepts refrigerated appliances, homeowners still need to know what to do with other appliances they no longer need. Requesting a pick-up from a junk hauler is the easiest and most efficient option. Homeowners only need to ensure their old appliance is ready for recycling and the junk hauler takes care of the rest.
Selling, donating, or dropping off the old appliance at a local recycling center are some additional options. Regardless of which option homeowners choose, it is important to follow these steps when handing off an unwanted appliance to another party:
- Many appliance dealers offer free pick-up of old appliances when delivering a new one. Anyone buying a new appliance should ask about this option. While it may involve an additional fee, the appliance dealer arranges delivery to a recycling center.
- Allow the appliance to cool down for several days by unplugging it and letting it sit undisturbed.
- Some older appliances operate on R-22 Freon, a chemical banned by the EPA as of January 1, 2020. Prior to that date, the EPA instituted a phase-out of R-22 Freon that lasted several years. Those recycling an appliance containing R-22 Freon need to ensure a junk hauler or recycling company will accept it. Since not all companies can accept the chemical, homeowners may need to arrange alternatives for R-22 Freon appliances.
- If the appliance pickup requires curbside placement, homeowners should not attempt to carry it themselves. By contrast, they should use a dolly to move to the curb.
- Cover all drawers and doors with duct tape to prevent them from flying open during transport of the old appliance.
Why Recycling is a Great Option for Appliance Disposal
Some appliances, such as air conditioners and refrigerators, use chemicals that contribute greatly to depletion of the earth’s ozone layer. Another thing to consider is that appliances left in landfills could remain there for decades. As a result, these items might leak harmful chemicals into the ground over time.
Everyone wants a better future for their children and grandchildren. Taking a “RAD” approach to appliance disposal is one easy way to secure it.