Many of the appliances we use every day contain man-made chemicals that destroy the ozone layer - our planet's natural protection against the sun's harmful ultra-violet radiation. Refrigerators, window and car air conditioners, and dehumidifiers rely on refrigerants that contain ozone-depleting chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), under various trade names that contain the word "Freon."
If not disposed of properly, these common household items can release these refrigerants into the atmosphere.
Ask your local home appliance retailers about their refrigerator and home appliance collection programs or about the availability of refrigerant-recovery services. Sometimes, the store from which you buy a new large appliance will take back the old one.
Contact your local utility company about appliance recycling programs.
If the appliance is still in good working order, consider donating it to a local charity or family in need.
EPA's Responsible Appliance Disposal Program provides additional information about proper disposal of appliances and a list of partnering utilities, retail stores and manufacturers that collect used refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioning units and dehumidifier for proper recovery and disposal.