Steel appliances are great. Steel lasts a long time. But, when the 40 year old dryer is finally all done, it's great that steel is recyclable, too.
We found J. Casebar Washer & Dryers in the Stopwaste.org's recycling guide. In Berkeley, just a few minutes away. I called up (510-548-4419), confirmed I could drop an old non-heating dryer off, and buy a refurbished dryer to bring back home.
Through a small gate, into the space under the house, and there is Robert (on the right, here), who's been taking stuff apart since he was a kid. Now he puts washers and dryers back together, and sells them. Whirlpools are his favorite; easy to work on, parts last a long time, he says while these refurbished units might not be brand new, with the new parts in them they'll last as long as a new machine. Having priced out parts recently, I know that all the pieces bought separately cost far more than a new machine (crazy!) so for him to be repairing and keeping these things out of the landfill, well, I just love it.
Our "newsed" (new + used) dryer was $200, it's got all the features we're after, and it's in the back of the van. I had to take Xena to work before we could unload it and plug it in. That's another aspect of living right up to the edge of our carrying capacity; we often have to interrupt a project because of another commitment or urgency.
Through all this, I rediscovered drying clothes on a line. I don't like it. Saves energy and the clothes smell great, but they aren't "fluffy." I noticed it takes wind more than sun to dry them, and that the most the outdoors can really dry is two loads per day. One is easiest. Plus it's been raining a lot. In any case, the old dead dryer is out, this newsed one is here, and by tomorrow, I might be able to do all the laundry again!