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Whitegoodshelp (Andy)

"green" Washing Machines Can Be Black Underneath

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  • This forum is to discuss environmental and green issues related to washing machines. I’m looking to get things into proper perspective though, and believe green issues shouldn't be blindly given top priority. We need balanced facts and a full picture. It’s perfectly possible for example to buy a more economical washing machine that costs the environment (and the buyer) much more in the long run because of other factors.
  • I'm all for “green” washing machines” but wary of companies jumping on the bandwagon and selling poor quality washing machines as environmentally friendly. As far as I can see, the most environmentally friendly washing machine you could buy would be one that lasts a long, long time and doesn't end up in landfill after a few short years - even if it did use more water and energy.
  • Here's a relevant topic from the main Washerhelp site arguing just that - ECO energy labels and washing machines

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Book washing machine & appliance repairs Buy appliance spare parts

Note: The links above are needed to help keep this site running, please consider using them.

Because of all the press hype about landfill, I wanted to check your views on old washing machines/dish washers/fridges etc.., we are about to refit our entire kitchen. What happens to all old white goods appliances? Do they end up in landfill? If so, with a buy cheap culture aren't we all helping to speed up the prospect of landfill space running out?

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Here's a quote from the Government's (DTI) Unwanted Whitegoods booklet - "Every year more than 900,000 tonnes of used electrical and electronic goods are discarded in the UK. This figure includes up to 350,000 tonnes of large domestic appliances such as washing machines, fridges and cookers - so-called "white goods" - over 8 million."

I have quite strong (and detailed) views on this subject, which are littered all over Washerhelp. Many of them are in the buying washing machines section though and it's quite possible that many people assume it's only for people looking to buy a washing machine and they might not realise there are some provocotive comments there.

Here are a few of them, which may spark off a new thread in this new forum Posted Image

At the risk of being too frank, I blame the general public. The washing machine manufacturers are ultimately just trying to give them what they demand - cheaper and cheaper washing machines. They just leave it up to us to realise if there are any hidden long term costs and side effects, and most people don't see them. The chances are that if one of the major manufacturers (like Hoover, Hotpoint etc) brought a washing machine out that was built as well as they were capable of building one, it would be as good as a Miele - but as expensive too. Even if they made a washing machine that was as good (and repairable) as they themselves made in the 1970s and 80s the cost would probably go up so much that the public would probably refuse to pay it and buy their rivals cheaper washing machine instead.


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The responsibility for collecting the old washing machines will fall on the manufacturers, but the cost of doing so will fall on the customer in higher washing machine prices. Higher prices help, but I don't think they'll add enough to make much difference as to whether a washing machine is seen as worth repairing or not. As for recycling, can you realistically recycle rubbish products? If they are poor quality, and not worth repairing when new, they won't last any longer even if recycled.

It remains to be seen if the throwaway washing machines can realistically and economically be recycled. The answer is to stop making rubbish in the first place and to go back to making products properly - like they used to. Prices will go up considerably, but the overall cost in the long run to the customer, and to the environment, will be much cheaper.


Need an engineer, or to buy appliance spare parts? Please use my affiliate links to support this forum.

Book appliance engineer | Buy your Spares (4Washerhelp)

Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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Because of all the press hype about landfill, I wanted to check your views on old washing machines/dish washers/fridges etc.., we are about to refit our entire kitchen. What happens to all old white goods appliances? Do they end up in landfill? If so, with a buy cheap culture aren't we all helping to speed up the prospect of landfill space running out?

Can be useful place to recycle unwanted items

http://uk.freecycle.org/

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Thanks, I meant to link to freecycle after using them to pass on my kid's bikes. I'll post the link on a new thread to give it more prominence.


Need an engineer, or to buy appliance spare parts? Please use my affiliate links to support this forum.

Book appliance engineer | Buy your Spares (4Washerhelp)

Warning:  Read this before attempting any diy repairsNo representations or warranties are made (express or implied) as to the reliability, accuracy or completeness of advice. I can't be held liable for any loss arising directly or indirectly from the use of, or any action taken in reliance on, any information on this website, which is given free of charge and in good faith.

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