After purchasing a new appliance, (especially refrigerators and freezers) many consumers move the old, inefficient appliance to a garage or basement rather than recycling it. These appliances are commonly retained because they still work and it seems wasteful to discard it. You may not be aware of, or consider, the wasted energy the old appliance will continue to consume if left in service.
In reality, all appliances have two price tags - the cost to purchase the appliance and the cost of the energy to operate it. Appliances labeled with the ENERGY STAR® label
identify energy efficiency products that will help save energy and money. Generally, the energy used to operate an appliance over its lifetime has the largest impact financially and environmentally. It is recommended that older, larger appliances (especially refrigerators and freezers) be taken out of service and recycled before a mechanical failure.
Items such as refrigerators, air conditioners, electronics, and fluorescent lighting products can pose risks to the environment. In most cases over 95% of a large appliance can be reused and recycled, greatly reducing the impact of landfill waste and further mining of natural resources.
When you purchase a new appliance, check with your retailer to see if they offer free or low cost pick up and recycling of your old appliance. If you have an appliance you are not replacing, contact your local recycling company, who often pay consumers for old, inefficient appliances. You can also check with local municipalities or utilities to learn about recycling programs they may have.