Our next most frequent chore is Laundry. Some of you nuts out there enjoy laundry as some sort of therapuetic excercise...I do not! However, I will say that after we purchased my ultra energy and water effecient front loaders, it is somewhat more tolerable:) The rule of thumb here is that if your washing machine is less than 10 years old, do everything you can to make it eco friendly until you're ready to purchase a new one. For example, if you have a top loader that is in working condition, keep leaks in check, wash with cold water, and use only the amount of water you need per load. If, however, that washing machine is older than 10 yrs, you will save a significant amount of money, water and energy by upgrading to a front loader. Recycle your old one, and move to the green side! Use an eco-friendly detergent, wash in cold water, and line dry when possible.
Appliances that get recycled at a scrap metal place, are going to be fed to a giant shredder large enough to shred a car into small pieces . The pieces are then run through a magnet to pull out iron-containing metals, while the non-ferrous metal, such as aluminum, is separated out by an eddy current (the wonders of science at work). If there is plastic insulation, it is not recyclable, but you don't need to worry about removing those parts; they will become the shredded "fluff" left over after the metals are separated. Refrigerators, or appliances with coolant in them, need to be handled by a liscensed handler, check Earth 911 for someone in your area.