At Bell’s Appliance Service, we install, repair, and maintain your household appliances in and around Jacksonville and Greenville, North Carolina. You can expect professional and reliable maintenance work from our trained and experienced crew members every time. We’re a locally owned, family-operated business and we’re excited to help with all your household appliance needs.

In our last blog post, we discussed disposing of appliances in a responsible way. What does this mean? It means that once you are ready to get rid of old appliances, there’s a safer and more environmentally-conscious way to do so. There are significant benefits for the environment and your community if you get rid of your old appliance the RAD (responsible appliance disposal) way. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is essential to dispose of your appliances in a responsible way.

So, when you’re ready to safely dispose of your refrigerated household appliances, what are the environmental concerns? From the US EPA, here are a few things you should consider:

  • Refrigerant: Household refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 1995 typically contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant. Many window air-conditioning units and dehumidifiers contain hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant. CFCs and HCFCs are ozone-depleting substances (ODS) that, if released to the environment, destroy the ozone layer. Moreover, CFC and HCFC refrigerants are also potent greenhouse gases. Their release contributes to global climate change.
  • Foam: Refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 2005 are insulated with foam that contains ODS that contribute to both ozone depletion and climate change. Only units manufactured since 2005 contain foam blowing agents that are ozone and climate friendly. Air-conditioners and dehumidifiers do not contain foam.
  • Hazardous Components: Household appliances may also contain hazardous components, including used oil, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and mercury. For example, the cooling circuit contains oil that can be contaminated with ODS refrigerant. Some refrigerators and chest freezers manufactured prior to 2000 have mercury-containing components (i.e., switches and relays). Appliances manufactured prior to 1979 may contain PCB capacitors. For this reason, appliances should be recycled by facilities that safely remove these components prior to shredding and recycling.

How can you dispose of your refrigerated appliance in an environmentally responsible way?

First, you should check with your electric utility to see if a bounty program is offered in your area (see the text box). Because some bounty programs have required specifications for appliances (e.g., must be in working condition, of a minimum age and/or dimension), you may also need to confirm that your appliance is acceptable.

Some retailers offer appliance pick-up and disposal services with the purchase and delivery of a new model. Others may allow you to drop off the old appliance at the retail establishment.

Some municipalities require you to make an appointment for bulky item collection. Others require you to haul items to a transfer station or landfill (your municipality can direct you to a solid waste contractor for more information). Municipalities may require the refrigerant to be recovered from appliances before they will accept it for pick-up. In such cases, owners would need a professional, such as an employee of an appliance repair shop to remove the refrigerant prior to disposal.

Several other organizations (including retailers) will accept refrigerated appliances; some may even provide a small voucher or discount in return for appliances. Information on several of these organizations is available through EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program.

Whether you are deciding to buy a new or a used appliance, or figuring out how to dispose of your old appliances in a safe and sustainable way, we’re here to help! At Bell’s Appliance Service, we want to help you with all your installation, repair, and maintenance needs when it comes to household appliances. Give us a call today!