Do you have an old air conditioner that requires disposal? Since air conditioners (and other household items containing refrigerant) have components that are considered hazardous waste, they shouldn’t be disposed of within a regular trash can. In fact, you should be extra careful about where to take old air conditioners. Improper disposal is considered a public nuisance and could attract legal action.
Recycling air conditioners is the recommended way of disposing old air conditioners. This method comes with some apparent environmental benefits. Most noticeably, recycling air conditioning units will prevent the release of mercury, ozone-depleting substances, and greenhouse gases. By recycling the old air conditioners, you can do your part to keep the environment clean and safe for everyone.
When it is time to get rid of your old air conditioning unit, there are plenty of options available. Here are some ideas of where you can take your old air conditioning unit for proper disposal:
1. Dispose through local sanitation programs.
There are municipal rules and regulations concerning the disposal of certain appliances, including air conditioners. Before you dispose of your air conditioner in a landfill, trash or recycle bin, call the local sanitation department so they can give you guidelines for disposing of old air conditioners.
Some appliances need preparation before they can be discarded. Others just need to be disposed of in a specific disposal area, whereas some require a professional technician to remove them. If in doubt, call the local disposal programs to make sure you discard your old air conditioners properly.
2. Dispose through HVAC retailers.
When purchasing a replacement for your old air conditioner, ask the HVAC retailer if they will take and dispose of the old one for you. In some cases, retailers bundle disposal services with the sale. Other retailers will lower the cost of purchasing a new air conditioner if you trade in your old one.
3. Dispose through bounty programs.
You can turn in your old air conditioning unit for money through special programs sponsored by a regional or local utility. According to the environmental protection agency, anyone who owns an appliance is to be paid a “bounty,” which allows recyclers to collect and recycle old appliances.
In some cases, bounty programs may also offer discounts or rebates for the purchase of newer, high-efficiency air conditioner models. The easiest way to know if there are bounty programs in your area is by contacting your local electricity provider.
4. Dispose through waste transfer stations.
A waste transfer station is an industrial facility where the municipal solid waste is taken and temporarily stored. Later, the waste is eventually picked up and transported to a landfill or a waste treatment facility. In most cases, such facilities are usually located alongside material recovery centres. You can take your old air conditioning system to a waste transfer station for disposal. They will know what to do with it.
5. Dispose through bulk trash pick-up programs.
Bulk trash pick-up programs were introduced to help homeowners to dispose of items that are too large to fit in the regular curbside trash containers. Generally, most cities offer quarterly bulk trash collection, specifically during December, September, June and March. You can establish the specific collection dates by contacting your local garbage collector. You can also call to request the collection of your bulk waste.
Items to be collected should be placed at the curb or near the curb no earlier than 6:00 am before the scheduled pick up day, but not later than 7:00 am on the pick-up day. Bulk trash pick-up programs work with schedules. If you happen to place your bulk waste on the curb lawn too early, or if you leave out the bulk waste on unscheduled days, the local authorities will take immediate action and bill the owner of the property the attendant costs.
Also, if an item is not picked up for whatever reason and is not reported as a lost item, it should be retrieved from the lawn two days after the scheduled pick-up period expires. Uncollected bulk waste, which is not reported as a lost item, is considered a form of public nuisance.
6. Dispose by donating the old air conditioner.
There are two ways to donate your old air conditioner. If the appliance is old but still functioning, you should consider donating it to charity or any worthy cause of your choice. You will not only have helped the local charity, but you may also earn tax deductions.
Another way you can recycle your old air conditioner is by looking for a local organization that can reuse the parts instead of just disposing them in a landfill. Although some air conditioner parts cannot be donated, most of the plastics and metals can still be reused.