And therein lies one of the rubs with cash for appliances: What are you supposed to do with an old appliance? Some options:
• If it's in good condition, you could donate it, sell it on Craigslist, or offer it up through Freecycle or some other similar service.
• You could store something like a working refrigerator or freezer in the garage and use it only when you need extra storage space for food, say over the holidays.
• You could call an appliance-repair shop or a scrap-metal company to see whether it wants the appliance for parts or scrap. Perhaps the company will even take it away for you. This is a stretch, but the call might be worth it. We know that some retailers do break down old appliances and sell the useful parts to the secondary market. To find companies in your area, use the locator at Earth911.com.
• If you buy from Home Depot, Lowe's, Sears, or some other appliance retailers, you can take advantage of their haul-away program.
• You could take it to a municipal or county facility or arrange for curbside pickup by your town. Call your public-works department for details on pickup.
Some state programs require proof of recycling to receive a clunkers rebate or to get a bonus on top of the basic rebate. Others merely encourage you to properly dispose of an appliance and provide information on how to do it. Use our interactive map to get details on cash for appliances in your state.
Problem is, recycling an appliance is not as simple as it is for the newspaper, corrugated cardboard, cans, and bottles you typically recycle. Learn more about appliance recycling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Earth911.com.
Sears is the sole retail partner in the EPA's Responsible Appliance Disposal Program, making Sears an option worth considering if you're planning to take advantage of a cash for appliances rebate and want your old equipment recycled.
When you take delivery of an appliance you bought at Sears, your old item will be taken away and sent to an EPA-approved recycling facility. The recycling facility is supposed to capture any foam, refrigerant, mercury, or other hazardous substance and send it to a waste-energy facility. Durable materials like steel, glass, copper, and plastic are supposed to be separated out and sold for reuse. You'll get a proof-of-recycling receipt at the store, which you'll need to get the cash for clunkers rebate or recycling bonus.
On the cash for appliances front:
Several states and U.S. territories are launching their rebate programs around the 40th annual Earth Day (April 22), including:
Alabama (April 19), America Samoa (April 23), California (April 22), Colorado (April 19), Florida (April 16), Illinois (April 16), Kentucky (April 22), Louisiana (April 24), Maryland (April 22), Massachusetts (April 22), Mississippi (April 22), Missouri (April 19), Nevada (April 17), New Hampshire (April 19), New Mexico (April 22), North Carolina (April 22), Northern Marianas Islands (late April), Oklahoma (April 22), Pennsylvania (April 21), Utah (late April), Virginia (April 28), and Wyoming (April 15).
Check out our free cash for appliances buyer's guides to air conditioners, dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, and water heaters. Stay on top of the latest cash for appliances news by following us at Twitter.com/CRHomegarden.
—Daniel DiClerico & Steven H. Saltzman
I keep reading the SEARS is RAD and able to recycle, but I bought a dishwasher on 4-16-2010, had it installed and no one at Sears can tell me where it will be recyled. Texas has an appliance Trade Up program and I need to show proof of recycling. I paid Sears for this service, but they can't provide the address of the site. Can you offer advice? Thank you