Appliance Abandonment in California
Old appliances are massive headaches. It seems like no one wants to take them, they’re a pain for you to move on your own, and they take up an incredible amount of space.
If you’re thinking about getting rid of one of your old appliances, you should know that California has rules about appliance abandonment.
The issue of unwanted appliances is dealt with in California’s Penal Code 402b PC.
The law states that anyone who wants to get rid of an appliance that has a capacity of one and one-half cubic feet or more MUST remove the door from the appliance before disposing of it. That is true even if you’re bringing the appliance to the local appliance recycling center.
The reason for this particular law stems from concerns about children potentially thinking that the abandoned appliance looks like a good hiding place and locking themselves into the unit. Since the appliances don’t have a way to unlatch the door from the inside, the child would quickly suffocate.
Even if decide to hang onto the old appliance in case you eventually find a use for it, you should remove the door from it before putting it into storage. When you do decide to start using the appliance again, you can always put the door back on it.
The one exception to the law is retailers who are taking the appliance with plans to resell the used appliance. In these situations, the doors can remain attached.
Another thing you may not know is that you shouldn’t drain chemicals such as freon from your old appliances. Legally, you’re supposed to contact a properly licensed individual/business who not only knows how to safely drain the appliances but also how to dispose of the toxic chemicals.
If you’re planning on hauling your ancient appliances to a landfill, you should reconsider. You’ll likely be turned away. The Metallic Discards Act of 1991 prohibits landfills from accepting deliveries that include appliances. You will have to take the appliances to a local appliance recycling center. Once the appliance reaches the recycling center, it will be broken down and all the metal components will get reused.