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What to do with old appliances

  • 5 min read

Written by Domestic & General

Living sustainably, reusing and recycling are all concepts more widely followed and supported by people all over today. People want to do their best to help reduce waste in order to create a more environmentally sound future. But where many people still face hurdles is understanding how best to get rid of old or unwanted household appliances, and this becomes a bigger concern when it comes to shopping seasons like Black Friday.

If you bag yourself a Black Friday bargain – high-end ovens, a brand-new washing machine, a swanky new smart fridge – what should you do with your old appliances?

Bigger appliances, furniture and more are hard to safely dispose of on your own. Do you just rent a van and take it to a tip? Can you break it down and recycle it? All of these still require some planning and effort, meaning many simply leave things to gather dust somewhere, or dispose of them in improper ways.  

Regardless of whether your fridges, washing machines, ovens and more are just coming to the end of their life cycles, or you’re just looking for a fashionable upgrade, we have useful advice on how to dispose of your appliances in ways that benefit you and the environment.

Repair or recycle?

repair engineer checking washing machine

The first thing you should consider is whether you even need to get rid of your appliance. If it hasn’t been working efficiently or you’re unsatisfied with its performance, buying a replacement might be leaping to extremes. You could try some maintenance first on your appliance, to see if it's a simple fix. 

Domestic and General have put together a useful repair or replace guide, delving into the sort of issues that could be fixed with a repair and how long certain appliances are expected to last.

Donating working household appliances

If you have decided to get rid of an appliance that’s still in relatively good condition, we always suggest donating through The Reuse Network.

As Friends of Reuse, Domestic and General aim to raise awareness on why to repair and recycle, and how to do it. The Reuse Network supports charities across the UK to help them alleviate poverty, reduce waste and tackle climate change through the repair, resale and reusing of donated goods.

To donate an item with The Reuse Network, use their online tool to find your nearest centre or arrange a collection.

Reselling an appliance

man celebrating looking at laptop

The other option for appliances that are in working condition is finding someone who will take it off your hands privately.

You can make a bit of money by listing your appliance on an online marketplace, including Gumtree or Facebook.

The major difference in doing it this way as opposed to going through The Reuse Network is you are responsible for having the appliance collected.

How to get rid of a broken appliance

If your appliance is well and truly done for, you might just be better recycling it.

You can take an appliance to a local recycling centre, which is ideal for smaller electrical appliances. Each local council provides recycling points and you can find yours online.

Whatever reason you have for wanting to swap out an old appliance, don’t forget the importance of protecting your new goods.

When you protect a household appliance with Domestic and General, you’re less likely to have to go through the process of donating or recycling a broken appliance again in the near future. You’ll be protected for any essential repairs and have access to a network of appliance experts, on hand to ensure your appliance is working as it should, for as long as it should.