Household Appliances and Demolition
Household appliances, such as kitchen and laundry appliances, water heaters and furnaces, should be removed from residential buildings before demolition.
Certain materials and substances must be removed from appliances prior to recycling or disposal:
- Specific regulatory requirements apply if a refrigerator, freezer, air conditioning system, or other refrigerant-containing appliance is going to be repaired for reuse.
- If the appliances are not fit for reuse, they should be recycled rather than buried in a landfill.
- Regulated refrigerants (e.g., CFCs) must be removed properly from refrigerant-containing devices before they are recycled or disposed of.
Refrigerant recyclers must certify to EPA that certain standards are being met. You can verify that the recyclers are meeting these requirements by asking them to provide a copy of the certification they have sent to EPA.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Safe Disposal of Refrigerated Household Appliances
- Disposing of Appliances Responsibly
If appliances contain mercury switches or PCB-containing capacitors, those should be removed before the metal is recycled.
In EPA Region 5 (IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, WI), you can use the Disaster Debris Recovery database to locate recyclers and other waste management facilities.
- Guidance for Existing and Prospective Partner in EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program
- Before You Tear it Down, Get the Mercury Out (EPA-905-F11-008) May 2011 - Recommended Management Practices for Pre-Demolition Removal of Mercury-Containing Devices from Residential Buildings