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Disposing of your old appliances, electronics, and home furnishings can seem like an intimidating task. What should you keep? What can you give to charity or friends? What items can be dropped off at a recycling center? Where do you take the rest of your old stuff when it needs to go away forever? We don’t think about getting rid of household items until they break, get replaced by something new, or become so outdated that we no longer want to see them every day. When this happens, we know it’s time to get rid of some things. But where do you begin? Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to dispose of old appliances and home goods so they don’t end up in a landfill somewhere. Here are 10 tips for disposing of your appliances and home goods responsibly.
Set a deadline
When you have a huge pile of stuff that needs to go away, it’s easy to put it off and just shove it into a corner. If you’re like most people, the pile of stuff will grow each day as you keep adding more things to it. When you’re trying to get rid of items, it’s important to set a deadline. Not only will this give you a sense of urgency, but it will also help you decide what you really need versus what you just want. For example, when we moved into our house, we had a huge pile of stuff that needed to be hauled away. We set a deadline of one month, and we tried to only keep items that we were currently using or were planning to use soon.
Have a yard sale
A yard sale is a great way to dispose of your old stuff that you want to make a little money from. If you live in a neighborhood with lots of younger families, you can even make a few bucks off your kids’ outgrown clothes, toys, and furniture. There’s an app called Yard Sale that can help you organize and advertise your sale. You can also use a site like Craigslist to post your sale and reach a large audience.
Find a charity that will benefit from your items
If you have items that you know would be useful to someone else, you have a few options. You can donate them to a charity, give them to a friend or family member, or sell them on a site like Craigslist. When donating items to a charity, you’ll want to make sure you’re selecting the right one. It’s best to select a charity that will either use the item or sell it and give the money to a cause you support. A lot of organizations collect items for folks in developing countries who can’t afford things we take for granted. Find out which charities your items would benefit and select the one that’s the best fit for your needs. This will ensure that your items are going to the right place.
Donate your electronics
As electronics become more advanced, they also become obsolete very quickly. If you have items like old laptops and cellphones lying around your house, you’re just wasting space and money. When you’re ready to get rid of your electronics, select a recycling center that will accept them. Most centers will accept a wide variety of electronics, including TVs and computer monitors. If you’re not sure where to take your items, you can use websites like Earth 911 to find a recycling center near you. This will ensure that your electronics are disposed of in a responsible way.
When you must throw things away, have a plan
While most things can be recycled, there are some items that you just can’t put back into circulation. If you have items that can’t be recycled, you can put them in the trash, but you need to have a plan for where they will go. You probably have a trash service that will take most of the things you need to get rid of. However, there are some items that need to be taken to a special location. For example, you want to make sure any paint cans are taken to a paint recycling location. Electronics also need to be disposed of at a special facility that can handle the chemicals in them.
Check your local landfill rules
Some areas have specific rules about what can or can’t be thrown away. You’ll need to check with your local landfill to see if they have specific regulations. If you’re tossing paint or other chemicals, you’ll need to find out the correct way to dispose of them. Most landfills have specific regulations about chemical disposal.
Find out if the item can be recycled
The best way to dispose of an item is to make sure it never ends up in a landfill. You can do this by recycling your items whenever possible. There are a few items that are recyclable but don’t get recycled very often. These include paper plates, Styrofoam, and plastic utensils. If your area doesn’t have a recyling program for these items, you can put them in the trash. There are plenty of other items that are recyclable but are often thrown away. These include batteries, light bulbs, latex paint, wood, and paper products.
Repurpose or refurbish what you can
Old appliances and furniture often have parts that are still usable, but they just aren’t as functional as they once were. Before you haul your old appliances and furniture off to the dump, first see if they can be repaired or repurposed in some way. You can use old appliances to power garden tools and shop tools. Old furniture can be repurposed as useful items like a bookshelf or coffee tables. If you have kids, they’ll also love repurposing old furniture so they can make it their own.
When it comes to disposing of your old appliances and home goods, it’s important to do it responsibly. Not only will this help keep items out of the landfill, but it will also save you money. If you’re trying to get rid of an item, you can often sell it. This is especially true for items like electronics, furniture, and home goods that have a high resale value. If you can’t sell an item and you need to get rid of it, you have lots of other disposal options you can use. You can set up a yard sale, donate your items to a charity, or take them to a recycling center.