Recycled appliance: How to Recycle Large Appliances

How to Recycle Large Appliances

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One of the easiest ways to save energy around the house is by purchasing energy-efficient appliances. Be sure to recycle your old ones, though, because they’re mostly made up of metal.

Large Appliances Recycling Preparation

  1. Unplug your appliance for several days before recycling it to let it cool down.
  2. In the case of older air conditioners, freezers, and refrigerators, you’ll need to confirm whether the recycler removes Freon. If not, you’ll need to contact a professional for Freon removal.
  3. If you bought a new appliance and it’s being delivered, ask the company if it will haul away your old appliance. In many cases, the truck will accept multiple appliances for recycling even if only one is being delivered.
  4. If you’re getting rid of a still-working product that is less than five years old, consider donating it. Habitat for Humanity operates ReStore locations throughout the U. S. that sell building supplies to raise money for new houses, and they will often accept newer, working appliances.
  5. Tape any doors with masking or duct tape so they don’t fly open during transport.
  6. If you need to transport the appliance to the curb or a truck, use a dolly. Large appliances are far too heavy for one person to carry.

Find an organization near you that accepts large appliances using our Recycling Locator.

Why Recycle Large Appliances

  • Steel (the most recycled material in the U.S.) makes up 75 percent of the average appliance, and home appliances account for 10 percent of steel recycled in the U.S. each year.
  • Refrigerators and air conditioners use fluorocarbons to chill air, and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are a leading contributor to ozone depletion. CFCs are released from a trashed refrigerator but will be safely processed by a recycler.
  • Many utility companies will provide you with a credit to buy a new appliance and recycle the old one, not to mention the money you’ll save on your monthly bill.

Find Recycling Guides for Other Materials

Frequent Large Appliances Recycling Questions

Can I recycle large electronics in my curbside recycling program?

Large appliances are often featured in bulky waste collection programs, a special type of curbside recycling. You’ll need to schedule this collection with your local solid waste office, and specify what type of appliance you have to see if there are any preparation requirements.

Are any large appliances more or less valuable to recycle?

Yes. The general rule is that a valuable appliance will contain mostly metal and no hazardous material. Today’s dishwashers are largely made up of plastic, reducing their recycling market. Refrigerators and air conditioners require the removal of Freon, which involves a special permit. Washers and dryers are among the most valuable appliances because of their weight and mostly metal construction, but this also means they are among the toughest to transport for recycling.

Can I make money recycling large appliances?

Yes, depending on the appliance. If you have a truck and you’re willing to drive your appliance to a scrap metal recycler, you could make $20 or more. On the flip side, you may have to pay to recycle appliances with Freon because of the costs involved in Freon removal.

Do appliance manufacturers offer recycling?

The EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program has developed a nationwide recycling program for appliances. As of 2017, BSH Home Appliances and General Electric are the only manufacturers to partner on this program. No other manufacturers have public-facing recycling programs.

Do utility companies offer appliance recycling?

This depends on your local utility company, but many offer incentives to get energy-draining appliances out of commission. Many utility companies are part of the Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program.

What is a white good?

“White good” is the industry term for appliances, which dates back to the United Kingdom. In the 20th century, most manufactured appliances were made of steel coated in white, hence the name. If you ever see white goods in a recycling context, it means appliances.

What is Freon and why must it be removed?

Freon is a trademarked term by The Chemours Company; it’s used for fluorocarbons in air conditioners, freezers, and refrigerators. This chemical helps cool the air in these appliances.

Due to the Montreal Protocol, any appliances manufactured after 2003 must use a different refrigerant. However, you’re likely looking to recycle an appliance manufactured before then, so Freon removal is something you may need to take into account. It’s illegal to remove Freon yourself, and many scrap recyclers will require you to have it removed before recycling appliances.

How are large appliances recycled?

The first step is to remove any hazardous materials like mercury switches or refrigerants; these materials are recovered and recycled. Then, the appliance is shredded into tiny pieces, after which magnets will remove any steel, and eddy currents will remove any nonferrous metals (like aluminum). The remaining components, tempered glass, and plastics are then separated and sold to manufacturers.

Are there any states that require recycling of large appliances?

As of 2017, 22 states have banned appliances from landfills, including California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. Luckily, these laws mean it’s much easier to find appliance recycling options in these states.

Additional Reading

  • Home “Eco”nomics — Should You Buy New Appliances? Some considerations to help you decide when to upgrade to a more efficient appliance
  • Good, Better, Best: Cutting Carbon From Home Appliances: Before you buy a new appliance, make sure the efficiencies justify the carbon cost of the new model
  • The Ultimate Guide to Creating a Greener Kitchen: Energy-efficient appliances aren’t the only way to go green in the kitchen
  • How to Recycle Small Appliances: Our guide to recycling small appliances, such as blenders and toasters
Help others recycle large appliances by sharing this on Pinterest.

Appliance Recycling


Receive $50 when you recycle your fridge or freezer with FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities Appliance Recycling Program.

Have an older, working fridge or freezer using energy in your garage or basement? While it may provide additional storage, it’s not worth the additional cost on your electric bill. By recycling your old appliance, you can save over $100* per year in energy costs, and we’ll give you $50! We make it easy for you to save the environment… and add money in your wallet.

Plus, recycle a working dehumidifier, room air conditioner or mini refrigerator along with a qualifying refrigerator or freezer and you’ll receive an additional $25*** per unit. 

Click the “Schedule Now” button or call the phone number below to schedule a pick up.


or call 1-888-277-0527    


Program Guidelines
  • Must be an electric customer of FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities
  • You must own the appliance(s)
  • Refrigerators and freezers must be 10 – 30 cu. ft., plugged in, and operating (cooling) at the time of the scheduled pickup
  • Limit of two refrigerators/freezers plus up to three air conditioners/dehumidifiers/mini refrigerators per calendar year**
  • Your incentive check will be mailed to you within four weeks after pickup of appliance(s)
  • Please note that this is NOT an appliance replacement program. Your old appliance will be removed and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner and will not be replaced with a new appliance.

Appliance Recycling for Secondhand Retailers

Turn your oldest inventory into cash with FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities’ Appliance Recycling Program. To participate, you’ll set aside any older working refrigerators or freezers, then FirstEnergy will pick them up and pay your store $50 per appliance as an incentive for participating.

We offer:

  • $50 per working refrigerator or freezer
  • Pickup and haul-away at no additional charge
  • Environmentally responsible recycling

Retailers must be located within FirstEnergy’s service territory in Pennsylvania to qualify.

To find out more or to enroll in FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities’ Appliance Recycling Program Retail Program, please email [email protected].

Flip Your Fridge and Save with ENERGY STAR

Factsheet: English    Spanish

For information on where to locally recycle appliances and electronics not eligible for this program, please visit

The costs of energy efficiency programs are recovered through customer rates in accordance with Pennsylvania Act 129 of 2008. For a complete list of commercial, industrial, residential and low income energy efficiency programs, please visit



We’re committed to doing what’s best for our customers and staff. We are able to safely collect your appliances from outside of your residence (garage, patio, porch or behind garage) at your request. This allows our staff to safely collect and recycle your unit without physical contact with you.

*Savings estimated using the Refrigerator Retirement Savings Calculator provided by ENERGY STAR®.

**This is a link to a third-party site. The site is maintained by the third-party vendors administering these programs on behalf of Met-Ed, Penelec, Penn Power, and West Penn Power (FirstEnergy’s Pennsylvania utilities). 

***Room air conditioners, dehumidifiers, and mini refrigerators (1-9 cubic ft.) must be recycled in conjunction with a qualifying refrigerator or freezer.

Last Modified: November 1, 2022

reduce the impact on the environment


Cutlery manufacturers are accustomed to using aluminium, wood and silver. In the early 90s, with the opening of state borders and the removal of restrictions on foreign goods, they began to sell devices made of plastic. The people behind them stuck the name “disposable tableware.” Users no longer had to take a set of ceramic plates, metal forks for outdoor activities and then look for a place where they can be washed.

Due to the lack of a well-formed cleaning culture in the forests and on the banks, there is a problem of piles of garbage. The first processing technologies appeared in the 2000s. They were perceived as a single attempt to influence the environment, and not as a clearly defined standard or rule. But the trend towards sustainable products has changed the culture of consumption, as a result of which items made from recycled plastic have appeared.


Every year there are 900 units of disposable tableware, including sets of spoons, forks, straws, cups. Recycling leads to the reuse of half of the raw materials obtained. The appliances are used for:

  • coffee or tea;
  • preparing milkshakes and cocktails;
  • servings along with meals in catering chains;
  • completing desserts, ice cream or ready-made salads;
  • organization of mass events when there is no need to supply metal forks;
  • learning to eat from oriental cuisine;
  • home use.

You can find a complete list and order dishes here

Benefits of using recycled plastic utensils

Still, metal spoons and forks are handy when compared to plastic utensils. But convenience is not the only advantage. Appliances made from recycled material are distinguished by the following:

  • do not need to be thoroughly washed and dried;
  • kit is comfortable to carry with you, for this, manufacturers create special cases where all the elements are grouped.
  • Compared with metal spoons and forks, plastic products are safer because the design does not provide for sharp edges;
  • with the help of plastic spoons, forks and knives complete different products inside one package, which is in demand in the production of army dry rations.
  • Hygiene.

A key factor that still repels the audience is a number of myths related to the safety of using recycled materials. By production, there are no harmful toxins and other chemical components that provoke severe chronic diseases. Production is carried out in accordance with ISO and GOST standards.

Production technology

Recycled plastic cutlery is used in a similar way to other products that use this material. The entire production cycle consists of the following stages:

  1. Washing, drying and color sorting of plastic waste.
  2. Pressing.
  3. Grinding.
  4. Pass through the steam boiler. At this stage, all residues of harmful impurities are separated and enter a separate circuit.
  5. Obtaining flex – a secondary granule, which is a raw material for the production of new products.

The last stage is the production of finished copies. To do this, the granules are placed in a shaft with a temperature brought to the mark of flex melting, then plastic is poured into separate molds. After pressing, forks, spoons and other accessories are obtained, but already from recycled raw materials.

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Adidas will use only recycled plastics in its products by 2024 /TASS/. Sportswear manufacturer Adidas has committed to using only recycled plastics in its products by 2024. CNN reported this on Monday.

Adidas is going to stop the use of the so-called primary plastic, which includes, among other things, synthetic polyester fiber, known to everyone by the name polyester. This material is used in almost all of the manufacturer’s products – from T-shirts to sports tops. It is very lightweight and is popular for being quick drying.

The company also plans to stop using “virgin plastic” in its offices, stores, warehouses and bases from 2018. The move will result in an annual plastic savings of around 40 tons. As CNN notes, the corporation’s models from the spring-summer 2019 collection will contain about 41% recycled polyester.

Adidas expects sales of its Parley-branded shoes, made from plastic waste that was intercepted before it hit the ocean, to grow. Although these models still make up only a small share of the company’s sales, its experts predict that up to 5 million pairs will be sold this year, compared to 1 million in 2017.

According to the channel, in this way the company, on the one hand, joins the international fight against plastic, and, on the other hand, “is included in the race for more competitive products.”

Previously, Starbucks coffee shops, Hyatt chain of hotels, refused plastic, namely plastic straws for cold drinks. Fast food restaurant chain owner McDonald’s is also exploring the possibility of completely eliminating straws at all 14,000 restaurants worldwide, and Burger King has announced its intention to recycle all packaging used in food establishments in the UK by 2025. The Swedish corporation IKEA also refuses plastic.

The executives of these firms say they are responding to calls from environmentalists who point out that the use of plastic in packaging causes serious damage to the environment. According to the environmental group Ocean Conservancy, 8 million tons of plastic waste enters the oceans every year.

The movement to stop plastic straws began in 2015 when a video appeared on the Internet of a large sea turtle with plastic straws sticking out of its nasal cavity. One of the first measures against pollution was taken by the authorities of Seattle, Washington: in early July, they introduced a ban on the use of plastic straws and cutlery and set a fine of $250 for violating the ban. Previously, according to the Associated Press news agency, this kind of cutlery and straws were abandoned in the city of Malibu (California) and Miami Beach (Florida). In May, American media reported that a bill imposing the same restriction would be considered by the New York City Council.