Your coffee machine or humidifier breaks, what should you do? Can it be recycled? Sadly, most small appliances contain an array of mixed materials, primarily hard plastic. Mixed materials cannot be recycled and often end up in our landfills. Such small appliances include hairdryers, dust busters, flashlights and more. The rule of thumb for recycling at Recycle Utah is your product needs to be at least 70% metal for it to qualify for a drop into the metal recycling bin.
What is there to do about all these plastic-infested appliances? First, prioritize quality. Pay more for products that will last longer. Second, inquire about the manufacturer having a ‘take back’ program once the product reaches its end. More businesses should be doing this, some have already started with this circular-economy concept. Third, try to purchase products with the 70% metal rule, or ones that can be taken apart to recycle the materials separately.
Examples of products containing mostly metal that can go into the Recycle Utah metal bin are toaster ovens, microwaves, stereos, and lawnmowers. Electronics can also be recycled, though larger items (computers, TVs, and printers) require a small fee. Working vacuum cleaners and other appliances (in addition to housewares, books, tools, and much more) can be resold in our Warehouse Thrift Store!
By Mary Closser