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How to Dispose of Old Appliances

Last Updated: January 26, 2024

How to Dispose of Old Appliances

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The cost of household appliances has significantly increased in the last few years. Consumers often choose to repair their broken appliances, but eventually every household appliance needs to be replaced. Homeowners may also decide to get rid of a working appliance and replace it with a more energy efficient model in order to save money on energy costs.

When an appliance comes to the end of its lifecycle, it can take some work to replace it. You not only have to shop for a new one, you also have to figure out how to get rid of the old broken unit.

Appliances are unlike other trash in your home. They are bulky, hard to move and lift, and most likely cannot be put out with your regular household trash pickup. So how to you manage to dispose of a large appliance?

Complications of Appliance Disposal

When it’s time to dispose of your old appliance, be prepared to do it right. It is illegal in most places in the U.S. to simply put your old appliance out with your trash. Appliances contain environmentally hazardous materials, including oil, lead, mercury, and refrigerants. Most landfills ban appliance disposal or require some type of recycling or break-down work before disposal.

Because these household items are large and bulky, just getting them out of the house can take some work. Your best bet is to have the people delivering your new appliance to take the old one out at the same time. But you’ll have to deal with the disposal yourself if you are not buying a new one or you want to sell your old appliance.

If you have to wait for a junk removal company to haul away your old appliance, be sure to secure it until your pickup date. It can be an eyesore to have an old microwave or washing machine sitting on your front porch, so arrange for quick pick up. And some appliances are dangerous to just leave around. Refrigerators and freezers may need to have the door removed to prevent children from accidental entrapment.

You may be tempted to disassemble your old appliance for parts or to be able to place it in your regular trash pickup. This is not only a bad idea, it’s likely illegal. Large appliance can contain dangerous chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) or toxic foam insulation. Pilot lights in appliances contain mercury and other toxic chemicals. You should always discard appliances whole and without breaking them down in any way.

Disposal Frequency

How often will you have to deal with this type of disposal? The average lifespan of a household large appliance is between eight and 15 years:


13 years

Your refrigerator runs round-the-clock to keep your food cold. When a fridge stops working, it’s usually an emergency to get a new one bought and delivered.

Signs of failure: Leaks, overheating at the back of the unit, condensation, food spoiling faster

Ovens, Ranges, and Stoves

15 years

Gas ranges last a few years longer than electric stoves, but both will need replacing at around the 15-year mark.

Signs of failure: Malfunctioning burners, flickering display, rust, cracked glass top, persistent burning smell


10 years

Dishwashers usually break in a way that can cause water damage or run up your water bill.

Signs of failure: Leaks, foul smells, rust, broken latch, dishes that don’t get clean, water not draining

Washing Machines

10 years

Washing machines have a lot of wear and tear from heavy laundry loads over the years.

Signs of failure: Mold, musty smells, water won’t drain, leaks, odd noises


13 years

Your dryer needs some regular maintenance to get to its average 13-year lifespan, including filter and vent cleaning.

Signs of failure: Scorching smell, clothes taking too long to dry, rust, strange noises

How to Dispose of Old Appliances

Unless pickup and disposal are included in the delivery of your new appliance, you’ll have to deal with the disposal yourself or pay to have it done. These are the best options for appliance disposal:

An infographic detailing how to dispose of old appliances
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1. Drop Off at a Recycling Center

Many local recycling centers accepts old appliances. They will then dismantle the unit, remove the parts that can be recycled, and properly discard the rest. Before heading out to your local recycler, call ahead or check their website to ensure that they will accept your particular appliance for recycling.

2. Check for a Take-Back Program

Some manufacturers or retailers offer incentive programs to collect your old appliances when you buy a new one. Typically, these programs will recycle the used appliances. These offers are available from the manufacturer themselves or through the retailer where you purchase your new appliance.

3. Use a Bounty Program

Your local utility company may offer a bounty program for used appliances. This offers payment to the appliance owner to encourage the use of a recycling pick up hauler to come get your used appliance. The payment may in the form of a utility credit or a rebate or discount on the purchase of a new unit.

4. Sell Used Appliances

If you’re replacing an appliance that still works, save on disposal costs by selling it or giving it away for free. Offer it up on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist and stipulate that it must be picked up to save on the hassle of delivering it yourself.

Some local charity and non-profit organizations may accept used working appliances. The Salvation Army accepts old air conditioners, microwaves, TVs, and washing machines/dryers as long as they are still working. Habitat ReStore will also accept gently used appliances to resell.

6. Use a Professional Appliance Removal Service

There are businesses that focus on the removal of old appliances and other scrap items. They will come collect your old appliances, sometimes at no cost. They do this to obtain appliances to refurbish or to sell spare working parts or scrap metal.

7. Watch for Local Government Programs

Keep an eye out for bulk trash collection days in your community. Sometimes this is curbside pick-up of bulky items. Some communities set up dumpsters at a neighborhood collection site where homeowners can dump off items that can’t go in their regular trash collection.

Before heading out with your old appliance, check first to make sure they will allow large household appliances. Your city or country may also have bulk item and household hazardous waste disposal centers that will take used appliances.

8. Contact a Junk Removal Company

A junk removal company will pick up your old appliances for a fee. Because junk hauling companies typically base their prices by volume, getting just one item picked up may be relatively expensive. When calling a junk removal company for an estimate, be sure to ask about any extra charges, including removal from the home or landfill or environmental disposal fees.

Dispose of Your Appliances Responsibly

It is crucial to abide by all environmental regulations when it comes to disposing of your old appliances. Illegal dumping is a growing problem in many communities, and much of that dumped waste is used appliances.

There are significant fines for illegal dumping and the practice harms the community. By planning ahead for your appliance disposal, you’ll ensure that you get efficient, affordable, and responsible removal of your old appliances.

Partner with Discount Dumpster for Green Disposal Solutions

Discount Dumpster makes it easy to handle all your appliance and remodeling disposal needs. While most large appliances are prohibited in standard dumpsters, we will guide you through the proper disposal processes, including recycling resources and alternative methods of disposal.

If your appliance removal is part of a larger renovation, we can get you an affordable dumpster to handle all your remodeling waste. Call us today to discuss all your options.

Call Today for a Home Disposal Solutions! - (888) 316-7010

About Monica Mayhak

I am an expert content writer with a depth of experience in the waste management and dumpster industry, with over 25 years of experience writing about construction, home improvement, property management, and education topics. As lead research writer for Discount Dumpster, I have expanded my knowledge and understanding of waste management, construction, and environmental issues over the past several years.

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