Think of recycling as your old washer's final spin cycle. It may emerge as part of a bridge span, a new car — who knows?
Clothes washers are about 65% percent steel, in addition to the motor, oils, electrical components, hoses and other materials. The recyclable steel, other metals, and selected components of your old clothes washer can be made into new products. Some items, like mercury switches that may be found in some pre-1972 models, need special handling by a qualified recycler.
Updating your dryer, too? Be sure your old one gets recycled along with the washer.
1. Recycle Your Old Washer When You Buy a New Clothes Washer.
Many appliance retailers will pick up and recycle your old clothes washer when you purchase a new one. Ask your retailer for assurance that the old unit will be properly recycled and not re-sold as an inefficient, second-hand unit. Some retailers or manufacturers also offer cash rebates when you buy a new clothes washer. Enter your zip code, select the "Clothes Washers" box, and click the "Locate Special Offers/Rebates" button to find a clothes washer recycling program in your area.
2. Check with Your State Energy Office, Local Electric and Water Utilities or Conservation Programs.
Some states are requiring recycling of used appliances as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act-funded, State Energy Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program (SEEARP). Some may also offer higher rebates for recycling. In addition, local utilities, energy-efficiency, and water conservation organizations support a growing number of clothes washer recycling programs. Check out the same "special offers/rebates" button to locate offers from States and utilities.
3. Ask About Municipal Pick-Up of Appliances.
Your local waste management division may offer heavy trash pick-up and recycling programs for appliances. Contact them directly for information.
4. Talk to Your Local Scrap Metal Recycler.
Thousands of scrap metal recyclers recycle old clothes washers. Ask your scrap metal recycler for assurance that your old unit will be properly recycled. View the Steel Recycling Institute's recycler locator .