Water Quality District - Hazardous Waste
What Is Considered a Major Appliance?
Major appliances include: clothes washers and dryers, hot water heaters, heat pumps, furnaces, garbage disposals, trash compactors, conventional and microwave ovens, dishwashers, ranges and stoves, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, and freezers. Other appliances are considered small appliances. See Small Appliances for disposal information on those types of items.
What is the Problem?
Major appliances may contain hazardous materials such as mercury,
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons),
fluorescent tubes, rechargeable back-up batteries, and oils.
- Give Away: If you have a working, usable appliance to give away or are looking for free items to pick up, contact the Missoulian, Missoula Independent, or the Messenger to see if they are offering free "give-away" classified ads.
- Appliance Retailer: Most retailers will recycle your old appliance when you purchase a new one.
- Recycling/Disposal: Pacific Recycling and Allied accept appliances for recycling and disposal of non-recycled parts. See below for refrigerator information. Refrigerators: Before a refrigerator can be recycled or disposed, the ozone-depleting freon must be recovered by a certified technician; (*Pacific may do this for free; call to confirm 543-7280). The technician will then tag the refrigerator to indicate that the recycling center can accept it. Contact a refrigeration or appliance service center for costs.
What are they?
Small appliances include: blenders, choppers, coffee makers, crock pots, deep fryers, electric can openers, electric fry pans, electric mixers, fans, food dehydrators, food processors, griddles, grinders, pizza ovens, popcorn poppers, sandwich makers, toasters, waffle irons, and water softeners. The following information does not apply to major appliances. See Major Appliances for a definition and disposal options of those types of items.
What Is The Problem?
Small appliances are often cheaply made and difficult or uneconomical to repair. As a result, it is often less expensive to purchase a new small appliance than having the old one repaired. A few small appliances, such as irons with automatic on/off switches may contain mercury and must be disposed of properly. See disposal options below.
- Donate: Donate your working, usable small appliance to a thrift store or organization in need. You could receive a tax deduction, and would be helping someone else out.
- Classified Ads: If you have a working, usable small appliance to give away or are looking for free items to pick up, check with the Missoulian, Missoula Independent and the Messenger to see if they are offering free "give-away" classified ads
- Recycling: Contact Pacific Recycling or BFI to see which appliances can be recycled.
- Trash: Most small appliances may be placed in the trash, with the exception of those that may contain mercury.
The Residential Disposal Guide is provided by the Missoula Valley Water Quality District as a public service and is not an endorsement of specific businesses, services or products. Any omissions or inaccuracies are unintentional. Please contact us with corrections or additions. Call businesses or agencies to confirm hours, locations and charges for services, if any. For information on disposal of items not listed, email or call the Water Quality District at 406-258-4890, M - F, 8 am to 5 pm.
Much of the information provided is from the Washington County, MN, Dept. of Public Health and Environment website.
Please note some documents are in "Portable Document Format" and requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. If you do not have this viewer, visit Adobe.com.