Waste Management Program fact sheet
Division of Environmental Quality Director: Kyra Moore

Effective Jan. 1, 1991, Missouri law (section 260.250 RSMo) prohibits the disposal of major appliances in solid waste disposal areas.


  • CFC - Chlorofluorocarbon (such as Freon®) used as refrigerant in refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.
  • Major appliance - As defined in chapter 260 RSMo includes washers and dryers, water heaters, trash compactors, dishwashers, conventional ovens, ranges, stoves, woodstoves, air conditioners, refrigerators and freezers. Other appliances in addition to these may also be recycled.
  • PCB - Polychlorinated biphenyls, oily chemical compounds that are suspected carcinogens.
  • PCB small capacitor – Is a capacitor that weighs less than three pounds and contains PCB’s.
  • Salvaging - Controlled removal of solid waste materials for utilization.
  • Scavenging - Uncontrolled or unauthorized removal of solid waste from a solid waste disposal area or solid waste processing facility.

Recommended Management Methods - If a major appliance cannot be repaired for reuse, recycling is encouraged as a disposal alternative. The Solid Waste Management Program can provide assistance in locating major appliance collection centers throughout Missouri that accept major appliances for recycling. These major appliance collection centers may have specific requirements for accepting appliances. Contact the collection center prior to delivery. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources does not endorse the firms contained in the listing nor does it consider the list to be complete.

The usual method of recycling is to shred appliances and then separate the metals from the nonmetallic material called “fluff”. Fluff may be recycled or disposed of as a special waste in a landfill approved to accept the waste. The metals are then ready for further reprocessing and remanufacturing. In general, small components such as compressors, capacitors, motors or other items that are routine repair or replacement parts may be accepted by a salvage dealer or may be disposed of in a sanitary landfill if removed from the major appliance.


The federal 1990 Clean Air Act amendments banned refrigerant venting effective July 1, 1992. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations mandate that refrigerant recovery measures must be performed during servicing and equipment disposal. Refrigerant must be evacuated from appliances and contained until it can be recharged back into an appliance or reclaimed.

Effective July 13, 1993, persons who take the final step in the disposal process of an appliance must either recover any remaining refrigerant or verify that the refrigerant has been evacuated previously. Persons recovering refrigerants from appliances for purposes of disposal of these appliances must use recovery equipment that meets specific standards as established by EPA. For additional information contact the CFC Stratospheric Ozone Hotline at 800-296-1996.


Some appliances manufactured before 1979 may have used capacitors that contain PCBs. Unless a capacitor is clearly marked by the manufacturer that the capacitor does not contain PCBs, it is recommended that the capacitor be handled as if it contains PCBs. Current regulations state any person may dispose of intact PCB small capacitors as municipal solid waste, unless that person is a manufacturer of PCB equipment. While current state and federal waste management regulations allow intact PCB small capacitors to be disposed of in a sanitary landfill, it is recommended that large quantities be disposed of in the most environmentally responsible manner possible, such as at a permitted PCB facility. Leaking PCB capacitors must be properly containerized and sent to an approved PCB facility for disposal. Information about permitted PCB disposal facilities is available from the Hazardous Waste Program upon request at 573-751-3176. It is recommended that all capacitors be removed by someone familiar with removal practices before appliances are shredded in order to prevent possible PCB contamination of the fluff.

Major Appliance Collection Center Operation

Collection centers must store appliances in a manner that will not create potential health or safety hazards and will not create potential adverse environmental effects. In addition to the laws regulating solid waste disposal, collection centers should be aware of other state laws and regulations that may affect their operations. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Sections 226.650 through 226.720 RSMo, empowering the State Transportation Department to regulate “junkyards” near state highways.
  • Section 577.100 RSMo, which makes the abandonment of airtight or semi-airtight containers a criminal offense.
  • 10 CSR 20 chapter 6 concerning permits for wastewater and storm water releases.
  • Storm water release permits are required for operating major appliance collection center.

More information is available from the Water Pollution Control Branch at 573-751-1300.

Sanitary landfills may store major appliances, provided the landfill submits a letter to the department detailing how the landfill will comply with the requirements of 10 CSR 80-3.010(16)(C)4., which states salvage operations shall be conducted in such a manner as to not detract from the appearance of the sanitary landfill. Salvaged materials shall be removed from the sanitary landfill daily or stored in aesthetically acceptable containers or enclosures. Please be aware that uncontrolled or unauthorized removal of solid waste from the disposal area is defined as scavenging and that scavenging is prohibited according to regulations 10 CSR 80-3.010 (19)(C)4.

Note: Previously, microwaves were listed as a major appliance and were banned from landfills. However, in 2002 the law was specifically changed to remove microwaves from the list of major appliances and white goods. While the department encourages consumers to make every effort to recycle microwave ovens, they can be disposed of in sanitary landfills.

Nothing in this document may be used to implement any enforcement action or levy any penalty unless promulgated by rule under chapter 536 or authorized by statute.

For more information