Recycle for Scotland

What to do with household appliances and white goods?

03 APR 20 | 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

not currently recycled

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

Household waste recycling centre (HWRC)

Recycling facilities exist

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

Other recycling collections

Recycling facilities exist

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

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.

What can you do?

  1. Items in good working order can be donated to some charity shops or reuse organisations 

  2. Check to see if your local council offers a service for reuse items

  3. Use the Reuse Tool to find your nearest reuse organisation offering collection

  4. Broken appliance? A simple repair could give it a new lease of life and save you money. Espares and Ifixit have user guides for repairing white goods

  5. Sell items through sites like Gumtree or Facebook Marketplace

Recycling is constantly evolving and changing so check back for updates or try our recycling locator to find out what you can recycle at home and where you can recycle or pass on unwanted items in your local area.