Can air conditioner go in a dumpster

Once your air conditioner is old and you feel the entire unit is due for replacement, it is normal for you to think of just disposing of it somewhere in a dumpster or a landfill when the right thing to do. Yes, that was what an HVAC technician told me. 

Hearing such for the first time, I couldn’t believe my ears I went to my computer and I typed in the words “can air conditioners go in the dumpster? and then I become more curious and asked “is it illegal to put an air conditioner in a dumpster? The more the answers I get the more intrigued I became and I intend to share those answers with you in this article. Read on!

Is it legal to throw air conditioners in dumpsters?

Yes, it is illegal to dump air conditioners in a dumpster. According to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), it is illegal to dump old air conditioners in a dumpster. Although I don’t have many details about the reason for such a law, it sure has to do with the hazardous fluids found in the unit.

Consequently, most technicians would recommend that you should drain all the fluids in your air conditioners before disposing of them because they are highly hazardous.

Will I get fine if I throw AC in the trash?

Yes, you will be fined if you are caught disposing of your air conditioner in the trash. Well, since it is illegal, it is only rational that there will be a punishment for circumventing the law. Therefore, if you are caught improperly disposing of your air conditioner, you are going to pay a fine.

Can you recycle an air conditioner?

Yes, you can recycle your air conditioner. Happy? Well, I only said you can recycle, I didn’t say it is going to be easy.

You can recycle air conditioners but they actually include materials like oils, refrigerants, and other compounds that the federal government mandates must be removed before all other parts like steel, metals, and other parts are recycled.

I know by now you must be thinking “oh well I can easily do that” but I would have you not extract those fluids by yourself. It is better to call for a trained professional.

How to get rid of air conditioners

Well, I just told you it is illegal to dispose of your air conditioner as you would normally do for other electrical appliances, hence, it would be reasonable to provide you with ways you can discard this important home equipment without having to pay any fine. Check below for details.

1. Take your air conditioner to a scrap yard

A standard scrapyard should know how an air conditioner can be discarded according to EPA regulations. If you don’t know where to go, visit the official website of your local government for information on available facilities o,r better still, you can search for Responsible Appliance Disposal on the internet. This should take you to EPA partners that can help you with the disposal.

2. Ask your local disposal agency for help

You can also go to the local sanitation department in your area for advice on how to properly discard your old air conditioner. Oftentimes, these departments usually have a separate section within their building that is dedicated to tending to people with air conditioning disposal problems. They also have qualified staff and technicians for the job. They can even direct you to a third-party agency that can help you with the task.

3. Take advantage of rebate programs

Nowadays, it is now a common gesture of the government, both state and local to offer rebates to homeowners who are willing to turn in their old air conditioners for newer ones. This program is put in place to ensure that air conditioners are properly discarded without causing any harm to the environment. By taking advantage of this program, you will be killing two birds with a stone. You get a new air conditioner at a discounted price, and you get to dispose of your air conditioner with no hassle.

Dispose of or through a retailer

You can walk to a retailer and ask for a new air conditioner at a discount in exchange for your old air conditioner. By doing this, the burden of disposal will be shifted to the retailer.

How to donate an air conditioner?

If you intend to donate your air conditioners, there are a few options you can choose from.  Check details below.

Salvation Army

If you wish to donate your air conditioner, you can donate it directly to the salvation army. Salvation Army donation centers are spread all across the country together with their thrift stores.

Donate at online stores

Some online stores like Craiglist and Freecycle have a separate section on their website where people can create listings to donate their items. On Craiglist, you can either donate your item or give it out for free. Note that there are options to sell too.

United way

You can also donate your air conditioners to United way. United ways help displaced people who have lost their homes and belongings to disaster by providing them with shelter and food.

How to recycle air conditioner for cash

You can easily recycle your air conditioner for cash through “Bounty programs”. The bounty program is a local or regional utility-sponsored program that ensures that old air conditioners are easily and directly exchanged for cash.

How to dispose of window air conditioner

Check below for information on how to properly dispose of a window air conditioner.

  1. Remove the doors.
  2. Drain the refrigerant.
  3. Discard hazardous waste.
  4. Call for help with a trained professional.
  5. Haul with caution.

How to dispose of portable air conditioner

Actually, it doesn’t matter what type of air conditioner you want to dispose of. They all can be discarded in similar ways. Either you dispose of it through a local sanitation program or you decide to sell it to an HVAC retailer or dispose of it through a bounty program. These methods can be used for air conditioners of all types.

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