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How Can I Recycle My Broken Appliance Parts?

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Photo attribution: Appliances by Bryan Alexander is licensed with CC BY 2.0

Once you've repaired your appliance by replacing parts, you might be wondering where you can dispose of the broken pieces. While you could be tempted to toss it out with the trash, appliance parts should not be disposed of that way. Knowing this, you may ask yourself, "How can I recycle my broken appliance parts?" The Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation team is here to help you learn more about recycling broken appliances and components and why getting them to the right place is essential.

Why Do I Need To Recycle Broken Appliance Parts?

Major appliances, known as white goods, containing chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), mercury switches, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and refrigerant gas (Freon) were banned from landfills in July 1994. For a landfill to accept appliances and appliance parts, they must first:

  • Remove the CFC, mercury switches, PCBs, and Freon before taking them to a landfill.
  • Hold an Illinois EPA-approved permit and operating plan for white goods disposal.

Recycling keeps the broken appliance parts out of a landfill resulting in cleaner water and land, but it also allows the scrap metal to be reused and made into new parts, extending its life.

Can I Put the Broken Appliance Parts in With My Curbside Recycling?

The simple answer to whether you can add broken appliance parts to your curbside recycling is no. Curbside recycling is limited to paper, plastic, and glass and is not equipped to handle appliances or components. If your recycling program specifically states that it accepts small appliances, you can add them to your recycling bin. Very few recycling programs take anything outside the standard materials, which is not very common.

Most communities will sponsor a recycling day, typically in the spring, where you can dispose of broken appliances and parts. Depending on the type and size, you might be able to drop off your appliance parts on your community clean-up day for free. Some appliances and parts may require a small fee at drop off, but that's a small price to help keep our environment clean. Contact your local Chamber of Commerce, waste sanitation program, or City Hall for details.

You can also contact your local solid waste company to verify acceptance of your broken appliance parts and schedule a pick-up. If pick-up isn't an option, they should be able to direct you to where you can go to recycle your appliance parts.

Can I Sell My Broken Appliance Parts?

The answer to this question is maybe. Depending on what the part is made of, used for, and how it broke, you might be able to get some money for it. If you have a dead appliance, some retailers offer buy-back programs when you recycle with them, giving you gift cards in exchange for it.

Scrap metal recyclers may also be interested in purchasing your broken appliance and appliance parts. They usually pay by the pound for scrap metal, so depending on the size of your part, you may not make very much money, but it's better than tossing the part in the trash. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute, approximately 75% of the weight of an appliance is from the steel used to construct it, and steel is the most recycled material in the United States. Home appliances and appliance parts make up over 10% of the recycled steel in the U.S. annually.

Another option is a mail-back recycling program that pays for appliances and parts. If you're mailing an appliance or piece as a part of this program, you'll want to be sure to remove any batteries. Lithium batteries require special shipping requirements because they have previously burst into flames. You can also recycle the battery once removed. Call2Recycle is the country's most extensive battery recycling program, offering drop-off and shipping options for batteries.

Can I Send Broken Appliance Parts Back To the Manufacturer for Recycling?

Once again, the answer is maybe. Some manufacturers have created recycling programs for their products to help keep them out of landfills. The manufacturer may also offer a trade-in program on their product. Manufacturers providing product recycling include Panasonic, Sharp, and Toshiba through MRM Recycling, Dell through the Dell Reconnect Program at Goodwill locations, Best Buy, and Staples. Some will even accept any brand of appliances and appliance parts.

What Happens To Recycled Broken Appliance Parts?

The first thing that happens to a recycled broken appliance part is a thorough inspection to determine whether the piece can be repaired or refurbished to be used again. If the part is irreparable, the e-waste recycler will remove any batteries to recycle them separately. The rest of the broken appliance parts will be dismantled to remove any components or parts that can be reused. The remaining pieces are then shredded and separated into glass, plastic, and metal bins to be sent to manufacturers to be used in new products.

Get Your New Appliance Parts at Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation Today

With seven locations across Illinois, Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation can get you the parts you need when you need them. Most are open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, with many sites also offering Saturday hours. If you need to fix an appliance, you can purchase a replacement part from Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation from the comfort of your home. We're an authorized wholesale appliance parts distributor for Jenn-Air, Frigidaire, Bosch, Haler, Whirlpool, GE, and Maytag. Call us at 800-323-0270 or complete our secure online form to get started.

We have an Automatic Appliance Parts Model Lookup Tool to help you locate the exact part needed. If you cannot find the part you need, our experts can help you. Complete the "Can't Find a Part" form with as much information as possible, including the model number, serial number, part number, brand, and product description. You can also upload a picture to help us locate the part you need. We can let you know which location has the part in stock or arrange for shipping if required. Get your factory-certified parts from Automatic Appliance Parts Corporation today.