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Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?

Reuse Broken Appliances in Creative Ways

Here are some interesting ways you can refurbish your appliances:

1. Use an old refrigerator as a tool storage unit.
2. Use an old washer or dryer tub as a pot for a plant.
3. Turn a dryer drum into an outdoor fire pit.
4. Use an old circuit board to create new sturdy drink coasters.
5. Transform spare pieces into a beautiful piece of metal art.

Looking for more home decor tips and ways to reuse appliances? Check out this appliance reuses article or this article about using appliance parts for your garden.

When All Else Fails, Recycle

When your appliance finally dies and you’re ready to get rid of the unit (or spare parts), make sure to dispose of it properly. Appliances left on the side of the street are brought to landfills, where they will stay forever because they are non-biodegradable.

There are a few ways you can get rid of your appliances. One way is to donate them to Goodwill or other charitable organizations. You could also sell it (or give it away) on a site like Craigslist, where DIY enthusiasts oftentimes look for items they can re-purpose or fix. Some manufacturers will take back older appliances when they deliver a new one, so inquire about this option when purchasing a new unit. You could also use sites like Earth911 to find companies that will take these appliances off your hands.

Another way to get rid of old appliances is to use a recognized recycling service. Note that certain appliances (such as freezers, refrigerators, and air conditioners) contain CFCs, or chlorofluorocarbon, which is harmful to the environment. The Clean Air Act mandates that certain procedures must be followed when disposing of these items. If not, the EPA can charge fines up to $25,000. Most cities have a pick up service to take care of these kind of appliances, so look into your city’s guidelines before disposing of your unit. You can usually find information on The National Recycling Coalition website.

The steel from more than 39 million appliances recycled last year yielded enough steel to build about 160 stadiums the size of the new Pittsburgh Steelers stadium. Thus, properly recycling your appliances can greatly benefit the environment by providing a significant amount of building material.

Have other items that need recycling? Here are some tips for recycling other forms of e-waste.

Read more: Eco-friendly tips, Green, Home, Household Hints, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse,

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Adria Saracino

Adria Saracino is the Head of Outreach at Distilled, an Internet marketing agency, where she connects businesses and helps them establish meaningful partnerships. You can also find Adria talking and tweeting about fashion through her blog, The Emerald Closet.


+ add your own
6:20AM PDT on May 4, 2013

Repair as long as you can!

8:43PM PDT on May 3, 2013

Thanks for the info!

8:12AM PST on Dec 6, 2012

good to know

3:18AM PST on Dec 6, 2011

Thank you

1:28AM PST on Nov 24, 2011

I repair when I can. Hubby is pretty good with that, too. Then when beyond repair, we go to one of those trade places, where we get a discount for trading in our old washer and dryer to buy a refurbished one, and they in turn use for parts or use other parts to refurbish that one... It keeps local economy running.

7:22PM PST on Nov 15, 2011


5:33AM PST on Nov 15, 2011

thanks for the information

9:58AM PST on Nov 14, 2011


8:47AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

excellent information. Thanks.

7:54AM PST on Nov 14, 2011

Seems like mandatory obsolescence is built in on "things" now adays!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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