Recycling appliances is tricky, and if done incorrectly can contribute directly to climate change. Sometimes an organization that "recycles" or "resells" an appliance may just be selling off its valuable components (primarily the metals) while other durable components are sent to the landfill. When an appliance is disposed of there are several environmental concerns. To begin with, it is against federal law to improperly dispose of refrigerants and hydrofluorocarbons as these are extreme hazards to the environment. There are also dangerous environmental pollutants common to household appliances (like insulating foam) which are not subject to regulations and are therefore likely to end up in landfills where they contribute to ozone depletion.
So what can you do with an unwanted appliance?
If you have a working appliance: consider donating it to Big Reuse! Not only does this keep your appliance out of the landfill, it also allows a person to buy it used instead of purchasing a new appliance—a great move for sustainability!
Some appliances can be dropped off any day of the weekend between 10am and 5pm. This is true for appliances that are in 100% working order, have all the parts and are fairly new (fridges and stoves less than 8 years old, washers and dryers less than 10 years old). If your appliance does not fit that description, we may still accept it, fill out our form here and we will let you know! We are also sometimes able to offer free pickups for appliances, fill out the form to inquire about scheduling.
Another great organization that accepts large appliance donations is Habitat for Humanity's ReStore in Queens.
Also check out the EPA's Responsible Appliance Disposal program, they have partners all around the country who can pick up and recycle working appliances.
For non-working appliances: if you have a predominantly metal appliance it can be placed on the street with your recycling for pickup by NY Department of Sanitation. Appliances containing freon (including fridges, freezers, air-conditioners and de-humidifiers) can also be collected by DSNY but you must call 311 to schedule the pick-up. More details here!