Recycling Household Appliances

Parent Q&A

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  • Hi, 

    Does anyone know where I can donate old original light fixtures? They are mostly from the original house, circa '50's. Some complete fixture and a bunch of decorative glass covers. 


    Try Urban Ore on Ashby. They could give you some sense over the phone, though final decisions get made in person.

    If there's a Habitat for Humanity ReStore in the area, I bet they'd take them. I think there's one in Oakland.

    Urban Ore or the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Concord

    Habitat for humanity Restore. They’re in Oakland, Concord and San Jose. 

    You'll probably get lots of recommendations for them, but Urban Ore ( is a great place to donate stuff like this.

    We've donated light fixtures to Urban Ore in Berkeley. I'd also ask Ohmega Salvage or Habitat for Humanity if they take them or have ideas. 

    Try Urban Ore in Berkeley. They accept used home fixtures and furniture and resells it. Check out their website to make sure what the covid-era rules are for dropping off stuff.

    Try Habitat for Humanity's ReStore.  I'm not certain if their policies are different during COVID.

    Urban Ore in Berkeley is where I donate used building materials.

Archived Q&A and Reviews


Reuse or recycle hepa vacuum filter

Aug 2013

A quick look online didn't reveal much for me here. I have a used-up hepa vacuum filter. Hate to throw the whole thing away, plastic casing and all. But worrying that's my only option? Can't find any info on reusing the plastic casing or recycling the whole thing. Doesn't even seem AC Hazardous Waste takes them. So, do I just throw it in the garbage can? Hate to do that once to twice a year on our vacuum filters, so if you have any info, please advice! Trying to recycle

Unfortunately, the HEPA filter will need to be discarded as non-recyclable trash. It is made as a unit and must be disposed of as a unit. The filters are made specifically to provide a leak-proof fit in your vacuum. This design allows the filter to collect all the very fine particles that your vacuum removes from the floor that could otherwise be breathed into the deepest areas of our lungs. Where they sit permanently, or are absorbed into our bodies, or cause irritation to the tissues that could lead to other health issues.

I appreciate your desire to recycle, but disassembly of the filter to recycle only certain parts is particularly dangerous to you. You've spent a lot of time vacuuming and cleaning (nicely done!) and now you want to handle all the ick that you've just removed? That ick contains lead dust, pesticide residue, allergens, bug parts, molds, and plain old dirt , among other things, only now in a concentrated space. I would tell you to gently place it into a plastic bag, seal it well, and toss it in the non-recyclable trash. If you don't want to toss the plastic like that (you're into recycling, remember?) you can gently wrap it in newspaper and then dispose of it.

Dennis J, CIH Environmental Services Manager Alameda County Healthy Homes Department

Washing machine disposal

Nov 2009

I'm about to replace my very leaky Maytag washer, 18 years old. It's never needed a service call until now and has served me well, but may cost more to repair than it's worth. I'm getting a used machine to replace it and would like to dispose of this one responsibly, preferably to someone who will pick it up. Relevant information on BPN website is out of date, and Salvation Army and Goodwill are not interested--any other ideas or recommendations?

Many appliance dealers will haul your old one away when they deliver the new one. Be sure to ask about this.

You may try your city's bulky waste pick-up, through the garbage service, they usually offer a free pick-up at least once a year. garbage maven

Pick up an old refrigerator?

Sept 2007

I have an old refrigerator I need to get rid of. I scanned the old archives to find a place without success (someone recommended ARCA, but the address is in Compton). I saw a commercial about a service that would come to your house, pick up the refrigerator, and also give you a rebate, but I don't remember what it was! Thanks for your help. cleaning up!

Contact JACO by phone to pick up old appliances or you can even schedule a pick up on their website, They recycle the appliances responsibly. For a refrigerator they will actually pay you money to take it away! We just got $35 for one. For other appliances they charge $35 to take it away. Happy to be rid of two old appliances

How to recycle refrigerators?

October 2006

Any current recommendations on how to recycle refrigerators, non working or working?

The Oakland Rotary is having their E-Waste Recycling Event, Saturday, October 28th, 8 am-5 pm at RPM Warehouse, 414 Lesser Street. Acceptable items include: Televisions, consoles and monitors; computer systems & components (keyboards, mouses, internet devices, etc; copy and fax machines; stereo equipment, CDs & DVDs (players and discs); printers & toner cartridge; MP3 players; scanners, cameras; cellular phones & batteries and household phones. If you have 20 or more computer systems (or large items), contact Greg Rosenberg at Universal Waste Management at 888-832-9839 to schedule a pick up prior to October 28. Be sure to mention that items are being picked up for the Rotary Event. For details, please contact Alex McIntyre at (510) 812-6544. zero waster

Search - they have info on where to recycle just about anything in Alameda County. If the fridge is working, you can probably give it away via BPN or CraigsList - that's what I did.

Non-profit that will pick up used appliances from kitchen remodel

March 2006

Does anyone know any nonprofit/company in the East Bay that will pick up used kitchen appliances (i.e. range, dishwasher, fridge, microwave, etc.)? We are currently going through a kitchen remodeling project and are planning to replace old appliances with new ones. However, they are in pretty good shape and we would hate to just get rid of them, if possible. Thanks for your help on this! mama-san

Try the Reuse People in Alameda on the former Navy Base. They are a non-profit who takes construction/demolition things and appliances and re-sells them for GREAT prices for DIY's and others who are looking for appliances or counters or doors or windows or vanities or cabinets, or, or, or the list just goes on. They would love to have your donations. Their phone number is (510) 522-2722 Happy Remodeling!

You might try contacting a local Habitat for Humanity chapter for recommendations. If that doesn't work you could try the Yahoo group Freecycle. I'm sure whomever might be interested in your items would pick them up. Jennifer

Earlier Recommendations

Appliance Recycling Centers of America

December 2002

Re: when to buy a fridge
I'm not sure about the ''sales'' cycle of appliance but i wanted you to know about the ARCA(Appliance Recycling Centers or America) program - it's a recycling agency that will pick up your working, old refrig, and Pay You a rebate between $30-$50. Call 800-599-5795. If you call for a pick up appt. you can dovetail that with your new appliance delivery. I just did it and it was very smooth. I bought new frig. from Galvin's Appliance in Albany. PUC funds ARCA and the program will run out. Use it now if you can. Usually, you are Charged by the retailer to take away your old appliance. So this is really nice deal. Debby

Pick-up for old fridge or freezer?

December 2001

Does anyone know of a company in the East Bay that will pick up old fridges/freezers (working or not working)? And if so, is there a charge for this service? Thanks. Aaron and Emily

If your refrigerator works, a place called ARCA California will not only pick it up, they'll pay you $50! At least they did in September, when we bought a new refrigerator and needed to get rid of our old one. The contact number is (800) 456-2722. Christine

We called the Salvation Army and they came and took our refrigerator. It was in working condition. We did take off the doors prior to it leaving our property and attached the hardware in a plastic bag inside. We didn't want children to get stuck in it. There was no charge for the pick-up. Leslie and Mac

If you call Sears at Hilltop Mall they'll tell you the name of the group who's brochure they hand out with each new fridge purchase. I had the brochure and threw it away, sorry. Heather

More Suggestions

Dec 1999

RE: getting rid of dead appliances I live in El Cerrito, but here is what I found out when cleaning out my garage: Appliances with a lot of metal might be recyclable; Also, we had a TV that was over the size/weight limit for regular pickup, but our garbage company picked it up for a fee. I'm sure your local recycling center and garbage pickup service can tell you the right way to get rid of it.

Ask if your local school (maybe Berkeley's technical middle school) would be interested in the appliance for dissection. My daughter just dissected a clock at Albany Middle School.