Consider Your Options for Unwanted Kitchen Appliances

As a restaurateur or foodservice operator remodeling your kitchen facilities for the first time, you may not know what to do with outworn equipment. Should it be recycled? Sold? Driven to a landfill?

There are several options for divesting yourself of unwanted stove, grill, refrigerator, dishwasher or other commercial kitchen appliances, depending on its condition and whether it’s still usable. Consider the following:

Sell it.

Depending on the age, quality and condition of your equipment, you may be able to sell it, though food-service equipment does depreciate quickly. You may want to get it appraised. Options include eBay, Craigslist, local restaurant auctioneers or classified ads in industry publications. Another alternative is to check your local restaurant association for names of local dealers. Other options include consigning the piece or selling its parts for cash. You’re likely to get the best price if you thoroughly clean the equipment and include any instruction manuals, warranties and accessories that came with it. The Small Business Administration also recommends selling the equipment while it’s still in place so potential buyers can see it in action.

Switch it out.

Ask the vendor of your new equipment to take it in exchange for your purchase. Many vendors, including TriMark, accept such equipment for repair, donation or to sell as scrap.

Recycle it.

The good news is that recycling has become less of a hassle as the world becomes more environmentally aware. A number of for-profit and not-for-profit “junk” removal services will pick up your unwanted appliances (often for free) and either donate, sell or recycle it. Bonus: Many donations are tax deductible. These services often employ EPA-certified technicians who can professionally separate the equipment from your utility hookups. Possible organizations to contact include The Salvation ArmyHabitat for HumanityThe Freecycle Network and The Appliance Recycling Centers of America.

You might also ask your local municipality about free pickup services. Due to the environmental risk of old refrigerants and oils, your local state energy office or electric utility may step up to take care of your old refrigerator or freezer, or perhaps offer you cash or utility bill credits to make your own arrangements. Note that many salvage or resale organizations won’t take refrigerators larger than 32 cubic feet in size.

Scrap it.

Metal appliances that are beyond repair can be sold by the pound to a scrap metal recycling company, which will remove refrigerants, oils, foam insulation and other compounds before retrieving the metal. This option may bring in more money than you think, since even a consumer-sized refrigerator aged 10 years or more can contain more than 120 pounds of recyclable steel.

As for the landfill option, most states have banned the deposit of large appliances at such facilities because they never decompose. Those that do allow it require the removal of potentially harmful components such as mercury switches, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), refrigerant gas (Freon) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Removal of these substances almost always needs to be conducted through a licensed recycler trained in such techniques.

As you're considering your many options for making the most of your unwanted appliances, talk to TriMark about its responsible handling of reclaimed restaurant equipment.

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