When your fridge freezer, washing machine, cooker or dishwasher breaks suddenly, replacing it quickly can be a stressful task, and that’s before you even consider the question ‘how do I dispose of a fridge freezer responsibly?’
The substances within a fridge freezer can be harmful if the item isn’t disposed of responsibly. Older models contain chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) which, if released into the environment, can contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer. Newer models contain hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, which are ozone-friendly but still need to be handled carefully because they are greenhouse gases.
So don’t give up. You need to do this the right way.
How do I dispose of a fridge freezer responsibly?
There are plenty of options available and it really depends on your individual circumstances as to which one you choose.
If you’re going for a collection then the two key things to consider are convenience and cost.
Donating your fridge freezer will often mean you’ll get a free collection, but this could end up being a fairly lengthy process that means you’ll be stuck with it for days or weeks after your replacement arrives. Low cost, but not so convenient.
Alternatively, you could hire a professional waste removal company, like Skip It, and we’ll arrange a collection time to suit you. What’s more, with Skip It’s commitment to recycling everything possible, you can rest assured that you’re making an environmentally-friendly choice.
If you have transport and you’re able to safely lift and handle the item yourself, taking it to a local recycling centre is another responsible option. Find your nearest one using Recycle Now’s search tool.
Alternatively, some local councils will offer a collection service for bulky items. Try visiting their website or giving them a call to find out more.
If you haven’t bought your new machine yet, remember to check with the shop you’re buying it from whether they’re able to take the old one away when they deliver the new one. But be aware that most retailers are likely to charge you for this service and again, check that they’re up to scratch when it comes to their environmental responsibilities – where is your fridge freezer going once they’ve taken it off your premises?
If your fridge freezer still works but you’ve decided to replace it anyway, donating it to someone in need is a responsible way of disposing of it.
Many charities offer a free collection service. Larger charities will usually accept online bookings and will display a full list of the items they can take. If you’re not sure, you could always call them to find out.
In the case that a charity shop is unable to resell your item, they will aim to dispose of it in another responsible way. Charities can often make money from passing items on to other organisations that can reuse or recycle them, so your donation could still make a difference.
If that doesn’t work or you don’t have the time to handle multiple enquiries, ask around to find it out if anyone you know, or anyone your friends and family knows, is looking for a cheaper option.
Remember, it’s all about balancing out cost and convenience. A responsible waste removal company is the best balance of the two: low, predictable cost with a straightforward quote, and a team that are there right when you want them with a 2-hour collection window. But of course, we would say that wouldn’t we?