Every Year the Number of Household Appliances Thrown Out is Equivalent to a Fifth of the U.S. Population. Save money and the planet by fixing and maintaining your existing household appliances.
When a stove or refrigerator breaks, most of us consider replacing that appliance with a newer, shinier, upgraded model. While it may seem like a good idea to opt for replacement if you can afford it, from an environmental perspective – repairing the appliance makes much more sense. In addition to the obvious reasons of monetary savings, repairing home appliances rather than replacing them is the most environmentally ethical option.
More than 60M appliances are tossed into landfills each year, leading to piles of decaying machines releasing toxic gases into the atmosphere we breathe, leaching into the ground and even our water supply. The surprising consequences of trashed household appliances to the environment and our health include greenhouse gas emissions, acid rain, air pollution, soil contamination, and water pollution. The consequences of appliance off-gassing and landfill corrosion contribute to global warming, affect the global climate, create changes in local ecosystems, destroy animal populations, threaten food supplies, and make major heavy metal and other toxic health risks for humans. Proper recycling facilities are not feasible for large household appliances, resulting in an enormous ecological footprint that is easily reduced by repairing broken appliances instead of throwing them out.
So, before you buy something new, ask yourself if you really do need to replace that appliance. If it isn’t working correctly, could it be repaired?
Repair Clinic’s maintenance videos, written how-to tips, and FAQs, are backed by our manufacturing partners and include guidelines that will not only make each appliance model run more efficiently but will also help extend its lifecycle. For instance, our maintenance tips indicate how much to fill a washing machine or a dishwasher with the proper setting, or how often to provide preventative maintenance to a fridge.
If repair is not an option, replacing an appliance with a newer model from the EPA’s Energy Star certification program is the most responsible option. In a growing effort to be more environmentally friendly, many consumers across the country look to purchase energy efficient, long lasting appliance units, but the truth is that even those machines sometimes malfunction and break down. To keep drawing benefits and energy savings from your machine, regular and proper care and maintenance should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s specific instructions.
If your household appliance must be replaced, proper disposal and recycling will minimize landfill contribution environmental damage.
There are very specific processes that should be followed for the recycling of appliances. These will aim to recover and recycle products such as steel, aluminum, and plastics. But let’s briefly consider a fridge:
- 9M Refrigerators Are Disposed of Each Year in the U.S.
- 95% of a refrigerator or freezer can be recycled.
- A single refrigerator contains: 135 lb of metal, 11 lb of plastic, 6 lb of foam insulation, and 4 lb of glass.
- Recycling a fridge that cannot be repaired takes 4 steps:
- Liquid coolants are manually extracted.
- The main body of a fridge is shredded.
- The insulation foam is ground down to release the remaining ozone depleting gases.
- Ozone -depleting gases are removed and destroyed by specialist incineration at temperatures exceeding 2192F.
- Downstream, a recycled refrigerator becomes:
- Plastic for consumer goods.
- Metal for building materials and construction.
- The foam is converted into electrical energy.
- And the glass becomes cement.
Most refrigerators, washing machines, blenders and other household appliances are thrown out after they stop working without proper troubleshooting or repair diagnosis. Most of them would still have more life in them if customers were willing to repair them. Throwing them out doesn’t just hurt the environment; it also hurts consumers financially.
Shop Repair Clinic Parts. Repair Clinic is a family-owned U.S. company that believes in the power of education. That’s why we provide easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that guide you through the whole process — from figuring out what’s wrong to making it all work again. As an authorized dealer of original parts, we have over 4 million replacement parts and maintenance products for home appliances, heating & cooling systems, and lawn & garden equipment.