A man is fixing a washing machine in a kitchen

What to do with household appliances and white goods?

03 Apr 21 2 minute read

Old faithful workhorses like your cooker or fridge tend to put in a long innings, so when one packs up it can be so long since you had to deal with one, you may well have forgotten how on earth to responsibly get rid. It certainly ain’t gonna fit in the bin, that’s for sure.

Luckily, if you are replacing your household appliances and white goods - from fridges, freezers and electric cookers* to washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers - there are loads of ways that you can dispose of them. 

Also described as WEEE - waste electrical and electronic equipment. It is end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment. If an item is still in good working order pass it on for reuse.

*Gas cookers should be recycled with metal at your local recycling centre.

Household recycling collection

Check with your local authority. Most councils will offer a free uplift of bulky goods.

not currently recycled

Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

Yes, local recycling centres collect white goods. Look out for the WEEE signage.

Recycling facilities exist

Other recycling collections

Often retailers will collect your unwanted electricals (for a charge) when they deliver your new one - especially larger items like TVs, fridges and freezers.

Recycling facilities exist

How are household appliances and white goods recycled?

WEEE items contain a complex mix of materials like metals, glass, plastics, ceramics and precious metals, as well as hazardous substances. Some treatment facilities use large-scale shredding technologies. Others use a disassembly process. This can be manual, automated or a combination of both.