Getting Rid of Old Appliances

Whether you’re revamping your entire kitchen or just need a replacement oven, managing the removal and recycling of old household appliances can be a struggle.

A large bulk of most appliances can be recycled. They just need to be stripped down and everything dealt with separately by those working at the recycling facility. Luckily, given the push on trying to reuse and recycle as much of our old goods as possible, as opposed to throwing them in the general waste, you have plenty of options on how best to recycle old appliances.

You may even be able to dispose of certain appliances in a skip. If you are already hiring a skip because you’re renovating your home, ask the skip provider what you can and can’t place in there.


Sometimes, appliances will require a hazardous waste skip, so can’t be thrown in a general skip. Enquire about hiring a skip from Speedy Services and we will give you all of the information and guidance you need.


Which household appliances can be recycled?

Below is a general list of all of the appliances which can be recycled. Anything in a similar realm, including kitchen gadgets, will likely also apply.

  • Washing machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Ovens
  • Tumble dryers
  • Irons
  • Toasters
  • Vacuum cleaners
  • Microwaves
  • Lighting
  • Kettles
  • Televisions

Essentially, pretty much everything you need to plug into the mains to operate is classed as electrical and can be recycled. Even old game consoles, computers and power tools can sometimes be classed as appliances.


Can I use a skip to dispose of old appliances?

Not usually. Unfortunately, all bulky waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) must be taken to a dedicated WEEE recycling facility and not mixed with general waste or other recyclable materials. These facilities are usually run by your local council.

  • You can read more about the WEEE recycling guidelines on the HSE website.

Appliances can be classed as hazardous, due to their parts, which can include glass doors and fronts or in rarer cases, mercury in power switches.

Certain appliances which need to operate in cold or hot conditions, such as fridges, also contain fluids such as coolants or oil. These materials and chemicals need to be removed before shredding or crushing, by qualified professionals. Otherwise, they can pose a health risk if released into the atmosphere.

Some skip hire companies will allow small appliances to be disposed of in a hazardous waste skip. Large white goods, such as fridges, are commonly strictly forbidden.

But hazardous waste skips can be rare, especially in domestic settings. If you were to add an appliance to a skip against rules, the skip hire company may charge you extra or refuse to remove the skip.


How to recycle old appliances

So, while you probably can’t use a skip, you still have several options when recycling or disposing of old appliances. Which is best may depend on your particular needs and circumstances, or on how many appliances you need to deal with.

1. Give them away

Firstly, before you dispose of or recycle anything, you should think about whether it is still useable. Just because you think your fridge or washing machine is a bit on the older side and want to buy a new appliance doesn’t mean other people can’t make use of it.

If it is still an appliance which is in good working order, safe to use and in good condition, advertise it on a local buy-and-sell site or ask local charities if they could collect it and either sell it on or donate it to a family in need. A charity shop may be able to take a small electrical item and will PAT test it before selling.

Even if they only have a few more months of use out of it, it can still give someone time to find a suitable alternative or save to buy another. But if your appliance cannot be reused or repaired, the below guide will give you some other options.

2, Recycling points

As mentioned above, all WEEE must eventually end up at a dedicated WEEE recycling service. Most people will have one at their local council-run tip. You’re free to take appliances here yourself if you use a car.

Small appliances will often have a dedicated skip on-site. Large appliances will have a dedicated area. All of these will be dealt with by the local council in the correct way.

3. Council collection service

Some councils will collect larger appliances, such as ovens and washing machines, and dispose of them at dedicated recycling centres. There is often a small fee involved for this service, which can vary from council to council, and you will be given a specific time slot.

You may have to wait a few weeks for a slot, which may not be practical for some. You usually are asked to leave the appliance on the roadside for collection but told you can’t leave it out any more than a few hours before the slot.

4. Roadside bin collections

Some councils state you can leave small appliances, such as toasters and kettles, at the side of your recycling bins on waste collection day. It has to be bagged yet obvious what is inside and left in a visible place. They don’t have to be in working order.

Check with your specific council about the rules here, but it is a service many people probably aren’t aware of if it exists. While these smaller products will usually fit in general waste bins, recycling them is much better for the environment and your carbon footprint.

5. Man and van recycling collections

There are professional services which will collect and dispose of appliances on your behalf. Most will strip the appliance right down, separating the metal and then seeing whether anything else can be salvageable.

Because they can usually make money from scrap metal and inner parts, most don’t charge for this service. Collection can also be quicker than with a council. But unfortunately, you do need to check that the person collecting your appliances will dispose of them properly after they have taken what they need.

You should look for:

  • A dedicated business name, website, and phone number/email
  • Good reviews
  • Relevant licenses for permission to use local recycling centres (such as a waste carrier license)

You can check the list of approved waste carrier license holders in the UK on the government website. A waste disposal service such as this should also provide you with a waste transfer note if they’ve disposed of anything.

All of the above should ensure they haven’t fly-tipped your goods. Cases of fly-tipping can still be traced back to where the goods originated in some cases, which means you can be fined even if you didn’t actually handle the disposal process.

Most waste carriers won’t take appliances which operate at very cool or very warm temperatures, due to the coolants and other oils used inside the appliance which can be harmful to health and the environment. But there may be dedicated fridge disposal companies in your local area.

If so, due to the extra work required, they will charge a disposal fee. Be wary of any companies offering to dispose of fridges, freezers, and heaters for free.

Appliance retailer collections

Need a new Large Domestic Appliance (LDA) delivered? Most major companies will offer a service to collect your old appliance at the same time. There will usually be an additional charge involved, but for the ease of this method, it can be worth paying.

You shouldn’t expect to pay more than £50 for this if dealing with a large company. Just add the service to your basket when buying the new items. This way, you can see how much everything is before going ahead.

Most companies, such as AO.com, have dedicated recycling facilities in the UK. Trained professionals can recycle, reuse, and safely dispose of all parts accordingly.


Is There Skip Hire Near Me?

Thank you for reading our blog on how to dispose of old appliances. Please remember that fly tipping should never be a resort.

Please contact Speedy Skip Hire today on 0345 600 3546 to enquire about hiring a skip, or if there is anything else you need to know about waste disposal.

At Speedy we have got a great range of skips available and will be happy to talk you through all of the information you need to know. 

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