Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are the number one reason why refrigerated appliances require careful disposal once they are past their prime. Pre-1995 household freezers and refrigerator models contain a refrigerant known as chlorofluorocarbon (CFC). Dehumidifiers and air-conditioning units on the other hand use hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants. Both CFCs and HCFCs are ozone-depleting substances. These substances are strong greenhouse gases and contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect. Moreover, these refrigerants when carelessly discharged into the atmosphere cause ozone layer depletion. However, post-1995 refrigerated appliances have ozone-friendly hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerant.
The second reason for the safe disposal of refrigerated appliances is foam Maytag Appliance Repair Los Angeles. Pre-2005 refrigerated appliances have foam insulation which contains ODS. Once again, the emission of these substances leads to climate change and ozone depletion. Dehumidifiers and air-con units do not have foam insulation.
Thirdly, these appliances may contain hazardous components such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), oil and mercury. For example, some cooling circuits contain oil that can easily contaminate the ODS refrigerant and vice versa. Pre-2000 appliances such as chest freezers and refrigerators may have components that contain mercury such as relays and switches. This underscores the importance of carefully removing these components before the appliance undergoes shredding and recycling.
So, how do you dispose these appliances safely?
Begin by checking with your local municipal/city department or electric utility company about the possibility of benefiting from a bounty program. Should such a program be unavailable, ask for disposal procedures from the relevant city authorities. Usually, municipalities will require you to secure an appointment for the collection of bulky items. If the suggested retailer undertakes pick-ups, you may be required to part with a small fee. Other municipalities insist on the recovery of the refrigerant before they accept the appliance. If such were the case, you will need a certified technician to carry out the recovery process. DO NOT attempt to recover the refrigerant yourself; this may result in serious physical harm.
After you have safely disposed off the refrigerated appliance, a couple of things usually happen. Appliances that are still in good working order undergo refurbishments before sale. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advocates against this since these appliances are not energy efficient. Some appliances undergo recycling. This entails refrigerant recovery, metal recycling and land filling of polyurethane foam, plastics and glass. In some cases, some appliances undergo landfilling without refrigerant recovery and the removal of other durable components.
Despite all these environmental concerns, slapdash individuals and corporations still dump these appliances inappropriately. As a result, the environment suffers from refrigerant venting and the release of other hazardous components. It is important to ensure that all old refrigerated appliances are disposed off safely in line with local, state and federal regulations. In the end, everyone will live in a healthy environment.