Home appliances are a recycling success story. Major appliances are recycled at a high rate, driven by the market value of the metals used in their manufacturing. Major home appliances, often referred to collectively as "white goods," have long useful lives, typically 10 to 18 years. When they finally reach the end of these lives and are replaced, major appliances take on new value as an important manufacturing raw material, including as scrap steel. According to the Steel Recycling Institute, discarded appliances are second only to automobiles as a source of steel and other recycled metals. In addition to steel, major, portable and floor care appliances contain other metals and recyclable materials, including copper, aluminum and plastics.
AHAM, with the Steel Recycling Institute, is a co-sponsor of the Recycling Information Center, which consumers can contact for information on how to recycle their appliances. The center can be reached at 1-800-YES-1-CAN.