Home Household appliances How to properly dispose of household appliances, other items

How to properly dispose of household appliances, other items


Homework: Donating items for reuse is ideal, but unfortunately not always possible. Here are some other options.

Question: Is there any tips you can share on how a homeowner can safely and legally dispose of major household items and appliances?

A: If you are renovating or moving into a new home, you may want to replace and recycle bulky or bulky household items. A renovation can mean updating kitchen appliances. You may want to replace the carpet or purchase new mattresses and box springs. Or you may need to declutter and get rid of old electronics in your new home.

When clients come to me for advice as they look to clean or update their homes, I guide them to become stewards of the environment, use conservation resources, and follow sustainable practices. Note that construction and renovation professionals have different rules and regulations to follow for the disposal or recycling of large materials and household appliances.

Donating items for reuse is ideal, but unfortunately not always possible. Can the equipment be sold at a garage sale, donated to another, or donated to a charity or service? The first two are fairly easy to try, but the third – donating to an organization – can present a challenge. Each organization will have different acceptance policies with explicit online instructions. Because you are donating larger items, ask if the organization will pick them up from your location.

Depending on where you live, you may be near a transfer station with recycling and disposal options or a recycler. Your city may also offer disposal or recycling through a “bulky item collection”. The King County Solid Waste Division website provides information on recycling, reuse and disposal options, green home renovations, and more.

Electronic some products

Take it Back network locations will accept electronic products such as computers, televisions, cell phones and some home electronics. The network is a partnership between government agencies (King County Solid Waste Division, Snohomish County and Seattle Public Utilities) and retailers, repair shops, charities and recyclers that provides consumers with options to recycle certain waste – and their dangerous components – in a safe. and cost effectively. Find a Take it Back network location here.


Many second-hand stores or non-profit organizations will accept your devices. Most have online guidelines for the type and quality of devices they accept. Since refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners contain chlorofluorocarbons, which are regulated under the federal Clean Air Act, they cannot be disposed of and must be recycled. Check your local transfer station for restrictions and fees that may apply for recycling specific devices.

Your local utility company may offer to recycle your old appliance at no cost, and in some cases you may get a rebate check. Ask if the utility will carry your junk fridge or freezer. Look online for easy-to-follow guidelines or recycling options from your utility company.


Mattress recycling is becoming more and more common. When purchasing a new mattress, ask the company you purchased it from if they will transport and recycle old mattresses and box springs. Few second-hand shops accept used mattresses.

Another option is to search for What Do I Do With…? Page to find a carrier who will recycle mattresses. Most transfer stations will accept mattresses and box springs for disposal; be sure to check the fees and restrictions before you go.


Due to health concerns, used rugs and upholstery are generally not accepted for donation. Some organizations may accept new or unused rugs, depending on their guidelines. If you are replacing a carpet, ask your dealer or installer if they offer removal options.

Carpet recycling options are currently very limited in Washington State. Most transfer stations will accept carpet disposal, with restrictions depending on whether the owner or installation company disposes of it. Always be sure to check online before bringing your gear to a transfer station, as different places may have different rules on what they will accept.

Have a good purge!

Brenda Nunes of Keller Williams Eastside is a member of the King and Snohomish County Master Builders Association, and HomeWork is the group’s weekly column. If you have a question about home improvement, renovation or home construction that one of the more than 2,800 MBA members would like to answer, email [email protected]m.