Disposing of old appliances can be tricky, especially when you’re living off the grid. If you don’t have municipal recycling facilities, getting rid of old appliances is pretty challenging. In an age when re-purposing and recycling is king, check out these four things to do with used appliances if you can’t dispose of them easily.
Repair and Use Old Appliances
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Before deciding whether to repair your appliance or buy a new one, there are some things you should consider.
Is your appliance is more than eight years old? If so, you should consider replacing it with something more energy-efficient and cost-effective. Also, if an appliance repair will cost more than 50% of the original cost, budget for a new one. However, the situation can be different for everyone, so make sure you stay within your budget.
Give Them Away
If you can’t easily dispose of appliances in your area, post them online for free. Scrap metal haulers will be more than happy to come remove your used appliances. Plus, they will probably give you some cash for the metal.
As an added bonus, you can be certain the item will get properly recycled. If they aren’t used for scrap metal, you can be sure there are some creative people who would love to up-cycle your old appliance.
Re-purposing and Up-Cycling Old Fridges
Re-purposing is the best thing to do with used appliances. There are endless possibilities of creative ways to use your old and broken appliances. Some of my favourite ideas for old refrigerators include:
- Turn it into a pellet smoker
- Remove the door, lay it down and make a mini pond
- Turn it into a bookshelf or office cabinet
- Build a fridge cellar
- Fridge patio icebox
- Fridge drawers turned into planters for herbs
Some innovative companies have even started turning fridges into unique couches. Old tube TVs are great for turning into a mini bar by removing the internal components.
If you decide to re-purpose your appliance, make sure you remove any dangerous chemicals beforehand. For example, most old fridges, freezers and A/C units use Freon as the refrigerant chemical. Freon is extremely dangerous and a contributor to ozone depletion, so make sure you have it removed before getting creative with your appliance!
Use a Junk Removal Company
Despite your best efforts at re-purposing or donating, sometimes you just need to call a professional company to help you out with removal. These companies will come to your house at a time of your choosing and provide a free estimate on how much it will cost to remove and dispose of. Prices vary depending on your location, but for appliances, it is relatively cheap.
If you use a junk company, they do all the heavy lifting, transportation and disposal. So if you can't donate or upcycle your heavy appliances in the basement, I suggest calling some junkers to haul them out.
The most recognized and largest such company is 1-800-GOT-JUNK, spanning the United States, Canada, and Australia. Next time you can’t reuse old appliances, give them a call.
Old unused appliances tend to sit in basements and garages for years until someone finds a way to get rid of them. These hidden gems can be upcycled into all sorts of crafty things. If you don’t have the time or inclination to repurpose them, post them online for scrap metal haulers or DIYers to come to pick up. There’s no excuse to keep your old appliances sitting around.