Replacing old appliances in your MD home with new Energy Star models saves you money. Certified appliances use less electricity and water without sacrificing performance, and you'll see the difference in practice, but also in your wallet. Sell or donate your old appliances if they're in working order -- but if they're not, recycling them is vital. In some states, it's the law.
It's bad enough when a bag of garbage goes to a landfill, but imagine if all of the millions of appliances discarded every year went there, too. Appliances take up more space than garbage bags, and nothing about them is biodegradable. The metal carcasses would sit in a giant pile for centuries, leaching toxic chemicals into the ground and increasing the amount of land needed for landfill space. Of course, not every part of an appliance is recyclable -- the foam insulation in refrigerators and air conditioners is generally shredded and sent to a landfill.
Trained recycling personnel must carefully remove these hazardous chemicals to avoid releasing them into the environment; the removal is often the initial step in the recycling process. That's why appliance recycling centers are set up to handle storage and disposal of hazardous materials. Whether you take your appliance to a drop-off center or leave it out for curbside pickup, specialized facilities are where the actual dismantling takes place
Recycling old appliances keeps materials from the waste stream and sends them back into production. An old refrigerator may contain 140 pounds of metal, 20 pounds of plastic and 3 pounds of glass, all which are recyclable.