- Washers and/or dryers
- Refrigerators and/or freezers
- Water and space heaters
- Furnaces and boilers
- Air conditioners and dehumidifiers
- Trash Compactors
- Ovens, stoves, and microwaves
These major appliances all contain Materials that Require Special Handling (or MRSH), which are materials that cannot be disposed of in normal garbage after removal from a major appliance. Examples include:
- Mercury, found in switches and temperature control devices
- Used oil, from compressors and transmissions
- Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and other non-CFC replacement refrigerants
- All metal-encased capacitors
- Any parts that contain encapsulated polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) or Diethylhexylphthlate (DEHP)
- Any other material that is regulated as hazardous waste
Other hazardous wastes generated from processing major appliances include universal waste lamps (such as fluorescent, sodium vapor, high density discharge, etc.), sodium azide canisters from unspent airbags, universal waste batteries, universal waste non-empty aerosol cans, electronic universal wastes, ballasts, contaminated absorbent material from spills of any of the above hazardous wastes, and heavy metal containing grindings, dusts, and powders from processing of metal.
All the above MRSH needs to be removed from major appliances prior to shredding, baling, or crushing of the major appliances. If the MRSH is not removed, the appliances have to be shipped to a CAR. If the MRSH has already been removed when it arrives at a CAR, the facility needs to have the individual dropping off the major appliances fill out DTSC Form 1459, unless the materials were removed by another CAR. These forms and others need to be maintained onsite and some need to be submitted monthly to DTSC and the Department of Environmental Health, Hazardous Materials Management Branch, which is the Certified Unified Program Agency (or CUPA).
There are many other requirements that apply to scrap metal recyclers, which can be found on the DTSC website. For complete verbiage from CA Health and Safety Code please see section 25211 et seq.
What happens if you’re a scrap metal recycler and you don’t accept major appliances? You still will likely generate hazardous wastes. Continue below for scrap metal recycler requirements.
The forms linked below are from the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.