Whitegoods are defined as large electrical appliances that are used for routine activities. This can include anything from washing machines to fridges and freezers. Not to be confused with smaller appliances, one of the main features of whitegood appliances is the fact that they are large and difficult to transport. But once these appliances have breathed their last breath, what exactly should you do with them? If you’ve never considered it before, it’s never too late to sell scrap metal, and whitegood appliances are just as good for recycling than any other form of scrap metal.
WHY RECYCLE WHITEGOODS?
It’s simple really. Whitegoods generally contain a large amount of scrap metal, as well as other materials such as plastics, insulation, refrigerants plus more non-renewable materials. It’s always a better option to recycle these sorts of things as less energy is used during the recycling process than there is producing fresh ones. According to the Department of Environment in 2014, the refrigerants recovery rate was more than 80% for recycled air conditioners, but only 30 – 40% were recovered from refrigerators.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
As stated earlier, it costs less time, money and energy to recycle the materials in whitegoods than it does to produce new ones. This in itself is a massive benefit as greenhouse gases and carbon emissions are drastically reduced. Another benefit is the lack of littering and waste. As a lot of whitegoods end up in dumps because they’re not properly disposed of, this can lead to ground contamination from the heavy metals or refrigerants.
HOW ARE THEY RECYCLED?
After they’re cleared of refrigerants and other hazardous chemicals and heavy metals, they’re generally crushed down and shredded. The different materials are then collected and repurposed appropriately. Another way they may be recycled is if the entire units themselves are repurposed. They could still be working fine but simply need a new door or button, in which case they can be repaired and sold as second-hand items.
Before you think of recycling a whitegood appliance, make sure you consult a professional to make sure it is handled in the correct manner. This applies more-so if you’re thinking of repurposing them at home or selling them to a second-hand store as opposed recycling with metal collection experts.
SOME INTERESTING WAYS TO RE-USE THEM AT HOME
Because of their large profile, you might not want to recycle them in a traditional sense. Instead, you can just turn it into another part of your home. They can be made into almost anything with a bit of imagination. They can be used as simple storage units. Or, you can place a whitegood appliance outside and start growing plants out of them, making them a permanent part of your garden.
Throwing a sheet over it and using it as a base or desk is a useful idea as their solid exteriors can offer sturdy support. These and any other ideas you may come up with should only be initiated once the whitegood appliance has had any of its chemicals, heavy metals or refrigerants removed to ensure a safe and fun project. When you put your mind to it you can definitely come up with some creative, fun and practical applications for your old whitegoods.
CFC’S AND HFC’S
CFC’s – or Chlorofluorocarbons – are chemicals that are typically used as refrigerants as well as in aerosol cans and blowing agents. They contain atoms of carbine, fluorine and chlorine. In 1994 it was found that these chemicals as refrigerants were hazardous to the ozone layer and they were replaced with HFC’s – which stands for hydrofluorocarbons – which are slightly less damaging to the ozone layer but are still fairly toxic.
That being said, it turns out HFC’s are still very harmful to the ozone layer and are trapping a thousand times more heat than other greenhouse gases. Australia is aiming to reduce the use of HFC’s by 85% by the year 2036 as per their commitment to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
LOOKING TO SELL SCRAP METAL?
If you’re looking to get rid of your old whitegood appliances, then why not do it in a safe and profitable way. Metal Men Recycling lets you sell scrap metal in an easy and stress-free way. We offer a variety of services for business’and residential homes as well as a free pick up service.
If you would like to sell scrap metal or know more about recycling whitegoods then please give us a call on 03 5941 6677 or message us through our website here.