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How to Recycle Old Whitegoods and Household Appliances

24 April 2024
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How to Recycle Old Whitegoods and Household Appliances

Australia’s waste contribution to landfills has continued to grow over the years, posing a serious threat to our environmental sustainability. With white goods one of the major contributors taking up space in these landfills, the importance of recycling old household appliances is becoming more and more critical - whether you’re a resident or a business.

The importance of recycling your old white goods and appliances

White goods are large electrical appliances that you can find in every home, designed to make our day-to-day lives more convenient. White good appliances typically have a lifespan of a couple of years, and only need to be disposed of when they either break down, or require replacement. However, white goods are not the same as regular rubbish - you can’t just throw them away with normal waste. The best way to get rid of whitegoods? Recycling (hello, it’s our favourite topic!).

Different types of whitegoods and appliances include:

  • Fridge
  • Freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Washing machine
  • Clothes dryer
  • Air conditioner
  • Cooktop
  • Ovens
  • Toasters
  • Coffee makers
  • Range hoods
  • Irons
  • Kitchen appliances

But why do whitegoods need to be recycled? Why can’t we just throw them away with the rest of our rubbish?

Because you shouldn’t!

Not convinced? Here are the good reasons why we should recycle white goods:

  • White goods don’t exactly fit the bin – disposing of whitegoods can be a whole ordeal on its own, considering how bulky and heavy fridges, washing machines, and other appliances can be. Since they are too big for bins, regular council pick-ups are not an option. And if you’re thinking about moving your goods to a disposal facility, loading them onto a vehicle for transport will be a tough ask, particularly if you’re doing it alone!
  • Leaving on the curb may result in dumping penalties – If you’re thinking of leaving your unwanted appliances on the side of the curb to dispose of them, think again. Doing so is considered illegal dumping, which has costly consequences in the form of fines and potentially, even jail time!
  • White goods contain toxic materials – White goods may contain materials that are potentially hazardous to humans and the environment. If they are not processed properly through recycling, these toxic substances can leak into the environment as the appliance degrades, posing a danger to life.
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What are my options for recycling old appliances and white goods?

Besides taking old appliances directly to a recycling centre, there are other ways that white goods can be recycled safely and sustainably.

Sell them

If your old appliance is still in good working order, you could earn a neat little sum of money for yourself by selling it on a second-hand market or online platforms. Not only is this a great way to get your hands on some cash, but this also allows your old appliance to continue being used to its fullest extent by someone else.

Donate to charity

Donating your unwanted white goods to charities or other not-for-profit organisations is another alternative to recycling - giving your appliances an opportunity to be reused, especially by others who may be in need of them. However, don’t be that guy (or gal) - be sure to check that the appliance is still in working order before choosing to donate it!

Council pickup

Unfortunately, white goods that no longer work can’t be passed on to be reused. In such cases, you can opt for a council pickup service to have it removed from your home or commercial space, and delivered to an appropriate recycling facility where it will be broken down. Council pickups aren’t always available, and you should check when your next council pickup is scheduled in order to plan ahead for it.

Book collection & recycling

If you don’t have the time to wait for a council pickup, there’s the option of a same-day collection and recycling service for white goods. White goods recycling services offer you the flexibility of when and where you need them picked up and are the best option for recycling your broken or unwanted white goods.

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What happens when whitegoods and appliances are not recycled?

When white goods are not recycled, they will contribute to the growing build-up of waste in landfills, which in turn pollutes the environment. In Australia, an alarming amount of about 20 million tonnes of waste are sent to landfill each year. With how bulky and heavy white goods are, not recycling them can add considerably to this problem.

White goods also take up valuable space within the home or other areas. Not sending them for recycling will not only make them an eyesore but can also cause issues with space usage and storage.

White goods that are not recycled can also potentially release toxic substances into the environment as they degrade. Most appliances, especially ones with electrical components, are made up of a broad range of materials including precious metals (such as gold and platinum), toxic heavy metals, metal circuitry, mixed plastics, fire retardants, and glass. These heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and arsenic, as well as flame-retardants, can cause environmental contamination and damage if they leach into the soil in landfills and into water systems.

Finally, when white goods are recycled, the valuable materials that can be retrieved from breaking them down stay in use for future manufacturing needs, leading to a lesser need for new or ‘virgin’ materials that need to be mined from the ground. This reduces greenhouse gas emissions and prevents valuable materials from going to waste in landfills.

At Ridly, keeping your spaces and the environment clean and safe is a big part of why we offer reliable rubbish removal in Sydney. With our white good removal service, we can help you get rid of your old appliances like washing machines and refrigerators and recycle them for good. Book our services today to enjoy an affordable and efficient same-day removal from just $69!

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