What Are White Goods?

The term ‘white goods’ is actually derived from the traditional color (white enamel) used in the manufacture of household electrical appliances, such as ovens and stoves, fridges, washing machines, clothes dryers and air conditioners.

Even with innovation through the years and the introduction of other colors in the production of white goods (e.g. metallic colors and pastels), the term continues to stick.

Brown goods, on the other hand, refer to electronic appliances outside of the non-white goods category. This type includes televisions, radios, stereos, and the like.

Why Are White Goods Not Your Everyday Waste?

As mentioned earlier, white goods are a major concern in terms of waste disposal as they can harm the environment. They are not only typically bigger but also heavier and non-biodegradable.

The manufacture of white goods is also known to produce a large number of greenhouse gases, so before making a decision to dispose of any white goods, you need to consider all possible options.

If you plan to throw away some of your white goods, note that the disposal practice is different from that of regular, everyday waste, for the following reasons:

  • White goods comprise primarily of recyclable scrap metals and components such as steel, copper and plastic.
  • Certain dated or old-model white goods like fridges and freezers may contain toxic substances like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which are known to be harmful to the Earth’s ozone layer. Only certified technicians should handle and dispose of these.
  • White goods that are beyond repair or have no further use must be disposed of following proper disposal processes and should not be dumped illegally and improperly.