It’s easy to toss an old toaster or a bucket of paint in a drop-off bin, but recycling large objects like refrigerators and washing machines is relatively simple: Most large metal objects, such as bicycles or cars, should be taken to a scrapyard.
There is an exception: Large appliances like refrigerators and freezers contain chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are hazardous to the environment. In some places, such as New York City, the Department of Sanitation will collect appliances containing CFCs from your curb. Otherwise, Lichtenstein says, most regions have a designated drop-off location for these items. If you’re transporting a CFC-containing appliance yourself, remember to keep the appliance upright, rather than laying it on its side, so the chemicals don’t leak out.Back to top