By Contributing Editor Clay Anderson
If you have an appliance which you are replacing and won’t need, don’t send it to landfill when there are many convenience and sustainable options.
My wife and I recently purchased a vitamix blender when our previous blender stopped working. We didn’t want to throw the previous blender away, because it was less than 2 years old and seemed like it was in need of a simple repair. So, we faced the question of how best to extend its life with a new owner? Here are the options which I discovered.
1) We could take it in for repairs at a service center, who would let us know if the repair was covered by manufacturer warranty, recall or defect. If not, we would have to cover the cost which would be at least $65. This is what we would have done if we were going to keep it. It’s worth doing a little research in your area to see if there is a repair shop for the manufacturer of your appliance. If so, give them a call and discuss the repair options and potential costs.
2) If your appliance is in good working condition bring it to Goodwill or Salvation Army, where they will resell it to benefit their non-profit and you can get a tax deduction for your donation. There is no point in bringing an appliance which is not working to Goodwill or Salvation Army, because they will not attempt a repair and will discard the unit to landfill.
3) You could list it on ‘Free Stuff’ or sell it on Craigslist. If you gathered the information from the repair shop regarding all of your options, but decided a repair is not for you, someone else may be willing to pay for the repair instead of a buying a new unit. Also, there are some people who will attempt a repair themselves.
4) Research what your city policies are regarding disposal of any major appliance. You may be required to recycle it and the city may have a program to help. They may also have a rebate or incentive for your replacement unit. Also, check to see if your waste management and disposal company has a recycling program. They may do a curbside pickup.
5) Put the word out to friends and family (twitter, facebook, email, word of mouth) that you have an appliance you want to give to a good home.