Whitegoods Recycling

There are lots of ways to recycle your old white goods or even pass them on to be used again if they are still working. White goods are large domestic appliances used for routine chores including fridges, freezers, dishwashers, dryers and air conditioners.

The best options for disposing of your white goods include:

  1. Reuse and refurbishment – If they are still in good working condition, you can take your old appliances to second-hand dealers or reuse centres (use the search bar above). You can also donate or sell them on online marketplaces likes Gumtree. This ensures the materials and resources used to make the appliances are kept in use for as long as possible.
  2. Company take-back schemes – Some companies offer take-back schemes, or they may offer to take the old goods when they deliver or install the new appliance. The costs of such services are often included in the original purchase price, so do your research to see if your goods are made by a company that will take them back at the ‘end of life’ and if they recycle them.
  3. Commercial recyclers – Booking an independent recycler to pick up your old white goods may incur a fee, but it is a hassle-free way to be sure your old appliance won’t end up in a landfill. Some recyclers will also allow you to drop off your old white goods. Use the search bar above to find a recycler near you.
  4. Council disposal – You can also register with your local council to have your white goods picked up, but not all councils will recycle them. Check with your council first to see if they send old white goods to a recycler or landfill.

White goods contain significant amounts of metal, plastic, insulating material, refrigerant (gases) and other non-renewable and valuable materials. Recycling keeps these materials in use and out of landfills. It also helps prevent toxic substances such as flame-retardants from entering the environment.

Fridges and freezers must be degassed at their end of life because they contain a refrigerant that is a very harmful greenhouse gas.

White goods sent to reuse centers or second-hand dealers may be donated to someone in need, refurbished for reuse or resold.

To safely recycle a fridge, dishwasher, dryer or other appliances, the hazardous materials inside them such as gases, chemicals or heavy metals need to be removed. The appliance is then crushed or shredded for recycling. Steel, copper and plastics are recovered and reprocessed into new products.