How To Dispose Of Your Old Fridge?

How To Dispose Of Your Old Fridge?

Fridges and freezers can be complicated to get rid of and it is important to know how to do it safely. Fridges and freezers contain harmful gases in them, therefore they cannot simply be scrapped like other appliances such as washing machines and tumble dryers, and the recycling prices can be quite a costly venture. Anyone not disposing of a fridge or freezer correctly, including fly-tipping will be prosecuted and fined up to £2500. Considering millions of fridges and freezers are being disposed of every year, it is useful to know your options in terms of recycling and other ways of disposal. 

DONATION/RESELLING

As with any items which are still functional it is worth looking into donations. You can either donate it to someone you know, or use donation services such as Freecycle. Reselling is also an option if the fridge or freezer is in working order and you may find that some second hand appliance dealers will be interested to buy it from you. There are many other ways you can resell your fridge or freezer, most effective of which are the Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree or eBay. This is a great means to get rid of your fridge and gives you a piece of mind that the fridge will be reused. However, there are some downsides to this, such as means of transportation, unless you can offer that service yourself. Another is that most buyers will want to see the fridge or freezer for themselves to check its functionality and condition, in turn meaning you will have to invite strangers into your home, which during the pandemic unfortunately is not possible. It is also important that the fridge is handled with care due to the aforementioned harmful gases. 

HOUSEHOLD WASTE RECYCLING CENTRES AND COUNCIL COLLECTION

If you have the means of transport and someone to help you with moving of the fridge you can take to the local Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) where you can dispose of the fridge free of charge, however you must take care when handling the fridge to avoid any chemical spillages and check with the recycling centres that they do take fridges as not all of them do. Council collection is another option, while they charge for the service it usually is not that expensive, and every council is obliged to offer a fridge removal service for all households. Prices of fridge removal can be found on the gov.uk website by entering your area, however, due to demand in service, especially now during the pandemic the response times are extremely slow and sometimes can take up to a month to get the fridge removed. In addition you will also have to carry the fridge outside yourself ready for collection which in some cases may not be possible.

FIND A WASTE COLLECTION COMPANY 

Most rubbish removal companies offer a fridge removal service at a cost, while this might be more expensive the benefit to the is that most companies have a much quicker response time than the council and can also take the fridge from inside your property so you don’t have to do a thing. Here at Kernahans a starting price for a fridge collection and freezer removal is £45 and the price varies depending on the size of a fridge e.g. undercounted fridge, tall fridge freezers, chest freezers and American Fridges. It is important to be aware that these prices include the labour and recycling costs, and if you find that a company charges you considerably less, it is a sign of improper disposal. When choosing a company you should ask them for their Waste Carriers License, and after the collection is complete you should receive a Duty of Care (Waste Transfer Note) which outlines what waste was collected from your property – this is a legal requirement for all waste carriers and you do not receive this it is likely you have fallen into the hands of a rogue trader.

WHAT HAPPENS TO OLD FRIDGES? 

If you have chosen a waste company or the council to dispose of your fridge then it will be delivered to a dedicated refrigerator recycling centre. Even though a fridge contains harmful gases in it, it is still 95% recyclable. Once the fridge reaches the plant, the compressor of the fridge is separated and the oils and gases are removed via a vacuum and the CFC gases are separated from the oil using ultrasonics. Once this has been completed the fridge is then shredded using expensive machinery where the CFC gases in the insulating foam are released. Once this is done the components are then sorted into components e.g. the ferrous metals are separated by the use of a magnet and the rest of the materials are separated for recycling. CFCs are separated from the nitrogen by the process of cooling until it liquefies and then is destroyed by high temperature incineration. 

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