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Anna Tompkins

Recycling Summer Scrap: HVAC Units

As summer kicks into high gear it is always a possibility that your A/C unit will need to be replaced. While we don’t wish that on anyone, we know how important it is to make sure that HVAC equipment is handled properly. Responsibly disposing of HVAC equipment is important since these items contain environmentally harmful chemicals. There are a number of options available to recycle HVAC units, so take the time to look at the choices if you need to safely dispose of an old appliance unit.

Specialized Recycling Facility

Dedicated recycling facilities have the means to recycle large appliances and pieces of equipment like generators, cooling towers, and HVAC units. Each of these facilities has specific policies regarding fees and transport. Some can arrange pickups for recyclables and some may charge a fee for disposal. Disposing of HVAC equipment in an efficient and environmentally responsible way is the major benefit of using a recycling service like this. At United Iron & Metal, we handle these types of scrap and can help you find a solution to your HVAC scrap needs.

Rebate Program

air conditioning

Sometimes utility companies will offer a rebate program whereby they buy back the appliance in order to ensure safe disposal. The equipment typically must meet some minimum standards to qualify for these programs. Since this is a local matter, be sure to inquire with your local utility company about these kinds of programs. If possible, disposing of old appliances and HVAC units through proper channels and receiving some compensation is often a strong option.



In general, you do not want HVAC units to end up in a landfill with refrigerant chemicals still contained in the units as these will release into the atmosphere and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. If you are thinking of disposing of the equipment in a landfill, check with your local public works facility or hazardous waste disposal services to discuss appropriate recycling options. These organizations will be equipped to remove the refrigerants, remove the recyclable parts, and then dispose of the non-recyclable parts in the landfill. We hope this is your last resort, as you are basically throwing away money!

Donate or Re-Sell

garage sale

Another option for getting rid of HVAC equipment is to attempt to resell it or donate it to a charitable organization or thrift store. If the items are still in working condition, selling is a good way to make a little money off the unit and donations are always welcome. If you simply want to get rid of it, a local scrap metal company can recycle the metal and electronic motor components of the unit. Again, the most important factor is the removal of the refrigerants, so find out if you need to have this done before turning the item over or if the company can perform this function. With several good options for responsibly disposing of HVAC units, there’s no reason not to recycle.

Give us a call at United Iron & Metal for more information about recycling appliances. Both our Baltimore locations accept HVAC scrap where the fluids have been properly removed.  Also, check out our video on Copper Aluminum Radiators!