Gone are the days when you purchase one appliance and expect it to last a lifetime. Even if it did, we wouldn’t want it to. We are in an exciting age of technological advancement, and there is always something new, more efficient or better than the appliance we bought a year ago. Unfortunately, this comes at an environmental cost. So how do we stay responsible as electronic consumers? Australians collectively own about 45 million appliances, but about 2.5 million of these end up in landfills. E-waste (electrical waste) has become a global issue. Here is how to responsible dispose of household appliances.
The best thing you can do to prevent unnecessary e-waste is to buy quality products in the first place. These are products with a high star rating. They are often more expensive, but they last much longer. Cheaper, low quality products have a short life span and will need to be replaced more often, costing you more in the long run and adding to the e-waste problem.
Reuse and Repair
Where possible, reuse and repair appliances. If the appliances are in working order, you could also donate them to a local charity. A surprising amount of small and large appliances are easy to repair. If an appliance is under 5 years old, try this option before jumping into a new purchase. On the flip side, modern appliances are more energy efficient, which has a positive environmental impact. This is especially relevant for large white appliances. Studies have shown that it is often worth replacing items more than ten years old, both from a financial and environmental perspective.
Once you’ve decided that you do want to retire your old appliances, recycling is the environmentally friendly option. Large appliances are made of steel which is recyclable. The bigger problem is the remaining “shredder rock” which consist of toxic materials. Most large retailers will take your old appliance when you buy a new one, so always ask for this option. Every state also has listed drop off centres for large appliances. They may also take some smaller appliances. For information of drop off centres in your area, Planet Ark has information on recycling near you.
E-waste is a problem that won’t go away! Lets all do our part in caring for our environment by buying quality goods, reusing and repairing when we can and recycling unwanted goods. Contact Nationwide Appliance Repair today for more information.