How to Recycle Your White Goods (Air Cons, Fridges and More)
Over time, we accumulate many white goods that we upgrade as they age. These white goods are essential to our homes and lifestyles and serve very important purposes that help us get through our daily lives. If you stopped to think about it right now – how many white goods would you say you have?
White goods, serving their essential purposes in our lives, don’t come cheap. Over the years, we’ve all spent countless dollars on white goods that lie around the house until they no longer work. While many think this calls for throwing them out, we’re here to tell you that there’s other steps you can take. While you’ve spent thousands of dollars on your white goods, you can get a little of this back. Not only that, but there are many recycling initiatives for white goods – they may be called white goods, but they can also be quite green!
So, let’s take a dive into what white goods we’re talking about and how you can take advantage of these programs and initiatives that benefit the environment and your pocket.
What are white goods?
White goods are large and major appliances that we own. Traditionally, these appliances were all made white, hence how they were named. As we know, these days white goods come in a range of colours and finishes. The following are considered white goods:
- Washing machines
- Air Conditioners
- Stove tops
Recycling Programs For White Goods
Everyone knows the motto – recycle, reuse, repurpose – but did you know that this is totally possible with your white goods as well?
A lot of the time, people assume appliances can’t be recycled due to their complex design; however, there are many programs around Australia that support the recycling of white goods and other appliances.
Of course, if your white goods are in good enough condition, you should firstly consider selling or giving them to a second hand store. This is the best way to extend the life of your machine and get the best use out of it – and even perhaps a little cash in your pocket. It is also great for the environment, as you aren’t disposing of such large appliances so often. Charities may also accept whitegoods, which means you’re helping to support others.
In regards to recycling your white goods to programs or facilities, the key is to make sure they’re disposed of correctly by choosing a reliable service. Many white goods are many from metals, which are recyclable; however, they also contain other substances which are toxic and dangerous if not disposed of correctly. Fridges and freezers, for example, need to be degassed when being recycled as refrigerants emit bad greenhouse gasses that are harmful to the environment.
There are also removalists and disposal companies that are qualified to safely and sustainably remove the appliances from your house. For example, Brizzy Rubbish Removals is an organisation that collects and disposes of your white goods in Brisbane – recycling where possible, they are also an eco-friendly solution.
Services like this exist because there are regulations that are in place for what you can and can’t put in your general bins at home. You are also able to dispose (recycle) your whitegoods in council resource recovery centres. If your load contains old whitegoods, you need to notify the staff at the centre as they will dispose of it properly and recycle the appropriate matter. These items are classified as hazardous and need to be recycled with care.
For more recycling services, Planet Ark lists a range of recycling facilities and programs to use in Brisbane. Some services also provide refurbishment to operational but unwanted whitegoods and collect them where needed – this solution finds them a new home so that they can be reused.
White goods and appliances contain a lot of metals, which are generally quite recyclable. Recycling these goods is not only good for the environment but keeps the goods and materials in the economy. Air conditioners, for example, are one of the most valuable to recycle as up to 80% of the materials in an air conditioning unit can be reused! Unfortunately, when it comes to refrigerators and freezers, this is among drops to only 30-40%. That being said, 100% of your white goods will go to landfill if you do not attempt to recycle them.
How Are The Materials Extracted?
Recycling these big appliances is a little more work than your average rubbish load. Work has to go into deconstructing these machines to make them easier to process.
Facilities also have to ensure no toxic substances are being left behind, and therefore degassing is required for appliances containing refrigerants. After your appliance arrives at a recycling facility, it will typically be crushed or shredded for recycling. Steel, copper and plastics, being the most recyclable materials incorporated into white goods, are the most useful materials recovered and reprocessed into new products.
Energy Efficient Appliances
Already gotten rid of your old white goods or considering an upgrade? Something you can do to benefit the environment (on top of recycling your old white goods) is look for an energy efficient appliance by checking its star rating.
All energy efficient appliances are marked with the official energy rating label. This is a star system that awards appliances up to 6 stars in evaluating its energy use (6 being the best and 1 being the worst). In Australia, most white goods are energy rated. This rating is determined by the energy consumption of the appliance (how much energy it uses) based on standardised testing essential to AUS and NZ. The system compares appliances of the same size (to create a valid and accurate comparison) – so when you’re picking a machine with a good energy rating, know it’s the best (or better) than others in its category.
Energy Efficient Air Conditioners
Air conditioners have previously been notorious for their energy-draining characteristics. This is due to older models (out of window units in particular) which got a bad rep for being bad for the environment and emitting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). However, most (if not all) modern units have been updated to remove these toxic substances. Modern air conditioners are becoming increasingly more energy efficient and economical to run – and using some simple tips, you can increase their energy-saving capacity. One popular type of air conditioner is the split-system; this system is popular due to its efficiency and flexibility (cooling in summer and heating in winter). Ducted air conditioning is also a great system that saves energy cooling the whole house at once, rather than using a number of units to accomplish this across rooms and areas. To help you find the air conditioning system that is best for you and your household, and containing the best possible energy rating, you can speak to one of the friendly specialists at Air-Rite.
With specialists that know all there is to know about air conditioning and that provide installation and maintenance services across Brisbane, Air-Rite is the trusted name in the air con game. Check out Air-Rite’s list of products to find your next air conditioning unit or contact Air-Rite for more information.