An Eco-Friendly Way to Discard Appliances

Where most appliance dealers focus exclusively on brand-new products, Erika Cedillo and DJ Wilson, owners of Home by Afrodita, 5205 N. Second St., Loves Park, aim to give appliances a second life.

“We don’t like to see any appliances go into the landfill, so we’re always collecting as much as we possibly can,” Wilson says. “We want to always offer used appliances and refurbished components instead of strictly new stuff, because there’s always a need for the used stuff. Not everyone can afford a new washer or refrigerator.”

Afrodita’s business model is built on three components: retail, wholesale and recycling. The idea is to collect used and unwanted machines, refurbish them, and distribute them to customers who want a good, operable product offered at a lower price point. The company’s warehouse in Machesney Park accepts used appliances of all kinds, regardless of their condition. These units may come from individuals who’ve purchased new appliances, local retailers who are disposing of customers’ old products, and even landlords who’ve just updated their properties. Most units arrive looking tired and broken. It’s up to a team of 17 technicians to assess these units and get them into working order.

Cedillo and Wilson have also developed a drop-off area at their warehouse, the Love Machine Recycling Center, where people can discard unwanted appliances. These machines then have a shot at a new life, rather than heading straight to a landfill or scrap dealer.

However, Cedillo’s sights are set on a grander scale.

“My new dream is to be able to grow the recycling company and be able to send truckloads and semis to Canada, Puerto Rico, Mexico and so many other places where these machines can be used,” she says. ❚