Ins and Outs of White Goods Recycling

Ins and Outs of White Goods Recycling

E-waste is a fairly recent problem. Just a few generations ago most households didn’t own any appliances, and if you were lucky enough to have a refrigerator or maybe a washing machine, you’d expect to keep it for at least 20 years.

Now Australians collectively own 45 million appliances, and a combination of engineered redundancy and ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ sees 2.5 million of those ending up in landfill each year.

So, how do we go about responsibly disposing of appliances like fridges, dishwashers, washing machines, and so on.

An old rusted fridge sitting in a field

Steel Recycling

Denron Metals recycles scrap metal in Adelaide, including fridges and other white-goods. We have heavy-duty collection bins and a fleet of trucks, so we can take the hard work out of transporting hefty white goods for you.

Appliances are generally made of two-thirds steel, and it’s such a valuable material that little of it ends up in landfill. Many appliances also contain wiring that can go to copper recycling and various electronics that can be recycled too. The same cannot be said of the remaining waste, which is called ‘shredder flock’. As well as some potentially recyclable plastic, shredder flock contains hazardous substances such as lead, cadmium and flame-retardants.

While the actual quantities of these materials are small, they are highly toxic and can leach from landfills into waterways. Government and industry are currently working to develop a product stewardship program to better manage the lifecycle of electronic items and prevent e-waste.

In the meantime, you can do your bit to help us minimise e-waste by choosing greener appliances and maintaining them carefully, reusing them if possible and ensuring they get recycled.

Buying the Right White-Goods

If you are going to buy an appliance that will last for years, it’s important to choose the right one. To maximise energy and water efficiency, choose products with the highest star rating and don’t buy anything bigger than you need.

Product longevity is also important. Service options and a long warranty usually indicate long-lasting products. Some products also offer upgrade abilities, such as the update function on Miele dishwashers, which mean you can take advantage of new features without throwing out the whole thing.

Finally, look out for brands that design for reuse and recycling, such as Whirlpool, Bosch, Electrolux and Miele. These are created with minimising e-waste in mind, and we can more thoroughly recycle them.

Other Options for E-Waste

Give it Away

If your appliance is efficient, less than 10 years old and in good condition, it’s a suitable candidate for reuse. The easiest way to get rid of an unwanted appliance is to give it to  someone you know or donate it to a charity like St Vincent de Paul.

Sell It

Another option if your old appliance is still in good condition is to sell it through eBay or Gumtree, or to a second hand dealer.

Bring It In

Have unwanted white goods you don’t want to see clogging up landfill? Contact Denron Metals on (08) 8352 8772 or contact us online today to discuss your options for recycling you e-waste.