What are whitegoods?
Whitegoods are large household appliances like fridges and freezers, washing machines, clothes dryers and dishwashers.
Smaller electronic goods – like vacuum cleaners, toasters, kettles and irons – are not considered to be whitegoods.
Why recycle whitegoods?
Whitegoods are generally made of valuable metals and plastics that can be recycled. Recycle your whitegoods to:
- reduce landfill
- conserve resources
- prevent toxic materials such as heavy metals from contaminating the environment
- reduce the amount of greenhouse gases created in the production of new materials.
How to recycle whitegoods
Metal from whitegoods can be recycled again and again to make new products, so it's important that they don't end up in landfill.
Look for brands that are designed for recycling
The Smarter Choice Retail Program will help you look for brands designed for recycling, and help you compare the environmental performance and running costs of the products.
Sell or gift your whitegoods for reuse
If your appliance is efficient and in good working order, it might be suitable for reuse. It could be sold, given to someone you know, or donated to a charity. Check with your local charity before donating whitegoods, to ensure they are accepted.
Check with your manufacturer and retailer
Some retailers will remove old items when they deliver a new one. A fee for this service is sometimes included in the delivery charge. Collected items may be sold to a metal recycler or resource recovery centre. Be sure to ask for this service when you buy a new product.
Second-hand dealers and metal recyclers
Many second-hand dealers will pay for or accept used items that can be repaired and resold. Appliances that aren't re-saleable can often be sent to metal recyclers.
Municipal hard waste collections
Recycling and waste services differ from council to council. Contact your local council to find out if it will collect the item or for the location of your local resource recovery centre. The Recycling Near You website offers information about the recycling and waste services offered by your council, as well as local drop-off options.
What happens to recycled whitegoods?
Unwanted whitegoods that are still working can be refurbished: for example, by fitting new doors or seals.
Safely recycling whitegoods involves firstly removing any hazardous materials such as gases, chemicals or heavy metals from the appliance. Whitegoods are then crushed and shredded for recycling. Copper, steel and plastics are recovered and reprocessed into new metal and plastic products.