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Bulky items like washing machines are tricky to dispose of whether they’re used within your business or at home. Unlike general waste, the process of safely and securely disposing of a washing machine can be complicated. They class as Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) which must follow strict regulations when it comes to disposal.

At Divert, we can tackle many business and household waste disposal needs, including the safe removal and disposal of washing machines. All old washing machines are disposed of safely, legally, and in an environmentally friendly way away from landfill.

Find out how to get rid of a washing machine from your home or business (such as nursing and care homes, dry cleaners, and hotels) in this guide.

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Washing Machine Collection 

How to dispose of a washing machine

In the UK around 2.6 million washing machines are sold annually. However, a large proportion of those appliances are not properly disposed of – many are thrown away when they’re still in good working order or sent to landfill sites. We send around 155,000 tonnes of e-waste to landfills each year in the UK – even though e-waste can easily be recycled.

The easiest way to dispose of your old washing machine is to use a professional waste removal company, such as Divert. This way you don’t need to drop it off at your local landfill or take it apart piece by piece yourself. At Divert, we do the hard work so that you don’t have to.

Our man and van service can come and collect your washing machine at a time and date that’s convenient. They’ll lift and load your old washing machine(s) into the van for effortless removal. Then they’ll transport it to a nearby waste management facility where it will be assessed and sent for reuse, recovery, or recycling – diverted away from landfill.

While our team can move your washing machine out of your home and into the van, you need to disconnect your washing machine ahead of time.

Can you recycle a washing machine?

Recycling a washing machine is possible if they end up in the right recycling facility. You can take them to some household waste recycling centres (HWRCs). Washing machine recycling is an environmentally friendly option if it’s broken and can’t be repaired or used by anyone else.

To understand the complexities associated with washing machine recycling, it’s essential to realise they’re made up of many different parts and components. These are often disposed of in separate ways once they’ve been separated at a recycling facility or centre. The main parts of a washing machine and how they’re recycled are:

  • Water pump – as pumps and valves are typically made of plastic, they’re often removed and recycled alongside other forms of plastic waste.
  • Drum – washing machine drums are typically made of steel, which is 100% recyclable.
  • Body – like the drum, the body of a washing machine is made from steel. This means that it’s considered a form of scrap metal waste and is easy to recycle. When they arrive at a recycling centre, scrap metals are shredded and melted before they’re solidified ready for reuse.
  • Motor – washing machines often use a type of motor known as a ‘universal brushed motor’ and can be recycled. However, they need to be cleaned thoroughly ahead of time as they sometimes contain small amounts of oil waste.
old broken washing machine outside.
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How do you disconnect a washing machine? 

Before arranging washing machine collection they must be disconnected. While this may sound tricky, don’t worry – this step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know:

  • Lay down some towels in the area around your washing machine.
  • Turn off and unplug the machine. Ensure any wires won’t come into contact with water.
  • Locate the water valves (usually placed at the back of the machine) and turn them off. This will disconnect the device from the water supply.
  • Move the washing machine away from the wall.
  • Grab an item like a bucket to catch any water that flows out of the machine.
  • Detach the hoses from the machine and wall.
  • Remove the drain line.
  • Wait a moment for the machine to drain, then empty the bucket and clean up the space around you.
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What to do with an old washing machine

Can you take an old washing machine to the tip?

In many cases you can take an old washing machine to the tip or your local HWRC. Check with your local council first if they accept washing machines – and that they recycle them, as some may end up in landfill. Most have containers or areas for WEEE and bulky items including washing machines.

However, to take a washing machine to the tip you’ll need to fit it in your vehicle. This requires the space and effort to load it at home and unload it at the tip. You’ll probably have to rope someone else in to give you a hand too. Using a man and van service is much more convenient.

Can I put a washing machine in a skip?

You shouldn’t put a washing machine in a skip, even if you’ve seen it done before. Washing machines are big and heavy items that are hard to get in and out of a skip in the first place. Plus, as WEEE they’re not accepted by many skip hire firms anyway – and those that do may send them to landfill.

There are also the costs involved of hiring a skip big enough to accommodate a washing machine (including a permit if it’s on a public street). And skips are much worse for the environment than a washing machine removal service, as the big lorries must make multiple trips to drop off the empty skip and remove the full one.

Skip hire vs man with a van

Other ways to get rid of a washing machine

washing machine disposal

If you’re regularly producing large amounts of e-waste, you must think of ways to reuse products or repurpose them before arranging their disposal. There are also other options if you’ve simply got a washing machine you no longer need at home, if you’re moving house or upgrading to a larger or more energy efficient model. For example, you could:

  • Donate your old washing machine to local charities, shelters, or non-profit organisations. This is particularly important if they’re still in good working order – though some organisation may accept broken ones and fix them up.
  • Upcycle different parts of your washing machine to give them a second lease for life. For example, you could use the washing machine drum to create a fire pit for your summer garden parties. Alternatively, you could grow plants or flowers inside an old washing machine drum.
  • Sell your old machine online. Using sites like Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace you could see if anyone will pay for your old machine. Put collection as essential and you won’t have to deliver it either.

Arrange washing machine collection with Divert

Book collection of an old washing machine from your home or business with Divert. Simply tell us the number and rough size of the machine, your location, and when you want it collected. We’ll provide a free no obligation quote based on this information and can book in the removal.

One of our purple vans with a couple of our team will come out and lift and load it into the van, before driving it to a recycling facility. All washing machines collected are diverted away from landfill – either recycled, recovered, or reused. Call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online today to arrange washing machine collection.

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