how to dispose of a refrigerator for free
Kristina Davis

Learning how to dispose of a refrigerator for free can save you from wasting precious space and money unnecessarily.

🤔 Have you ever wanted to know how to get rid of an old fridge quickly and cheaply?

Can you really do it? In all honesty, you totally can.

You should not let broken-down refrigerators collect dust in your garage, which could pose a fire threat.

Sometimes, hauling it to an appliance recycling center and getting rid of it the right way might be too much for you to handle.

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But someone else can help you and make it easier to learn where to dispose refrigerator for free.

To dispose refrigerators free, you can always ask your appliance dealer to help, call a recycling center, or even consider donating it. 

Learn How To Dispose of a Refrigerator for Free

disposing of a fridge

Obviously, you cannot dump your old refrigerator on the side of the road.

So, you must figure out how to do it correctly and in an eco-friendly way. Thankfully, there are ways to consider. 

For instance: 

Talk to Your Appliance Dealer

talk to the dealer

Get in touch with your appliance retailer and ask about ways to get rid of your broken refrigerator.

It is something you should inquire about at the time you buy your new refrigerator.

If the retailer delivers your new fridge to your house, they may also remove your old fridge at no extra cost.

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Do not be hesitant to try to bargain for this service and strike a deal if they do not already offer it. 

Consider Donating Your Refrigerator

done the fridge

Sometimes, you simply upgrade your refrigerator because you want something fancier.

In that case, do not simply throw away your old fridge if it is still in good working condition.

Donate it to a good cause in your community instead. Donating to a worthwhile cause will make you feel good.

And the charity you support may even pick up your unwanted items from your home (you can finally get rid of that old fridge).

Donating it is not without monetary benefits either. Remember, you won’t receive any direct compensation.

no direct pay

Instead, you will receive a receipt that includes the name and contact information of the charity.

It will also include a statement confirming their tax-exempt status and a unique identification number.

Note: Donations can be sent to any group that actively solicits them, such as a local thrift shop, church, or school.

Consider Recycling

consider recycling

Recycling is the next best alternative if you cannot find a new home for your refrigerator through donation or persuade your dealer to take it off your hands.

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers assistance locating the most appropriate refrigerator recycling option through its RAD program for responsible appliance disposal. 

Get in Touch With Scrap Metal Collector

scrap metal collector

If you have exhausted those avenues without success, it may be time to call the trash collectors.

They will walk you through their procedure for disposing of refrigerators and provide clear instructions for doing so safely and legally. 

Picking the Best Way To Dispose of Your Refrigerator

pick the best way

You may have gathered the fact that you can try different ways to dispose of your refrigerator.

Still, you may be confused about which way to go.

They all have benefits, but what works for you depends on your unique circumstances. In most cases, recycling makes a lot of sense. 

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Why Should You Consider Recycling Your Refrigerator?

why considering recycling

The federal government mandates the removal and recovery of oils, refrigerants, and other chemicals found in refrigerators.

Similarly, recycling metals, including steel and other refrigerator components, is possible.

Moreover, some recycling programs also collect the foam insulation on the inside of fridge doors.

Most refrigerators 10 years or older have over 120 lbs of steel that can be recycled. 

When opting for recycling, you can try different options. 

For instance: 

Recycle When Buying a New Model

buy a new model

The EPA has a program called RAD that you may support by shopping at stores participating in.

By recycling obsolete freezers, refrigerators, dehumidifiers, and window air conditioners, the RAD program helps maintain the ozone layer and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

The RAD partners work together to guarantee that every refrigerant is safely recovered, reused, or disposed of.

They also take care to reclaim the blowing agent or collect and dispose of any leftover foam.

Next up, they ensure they reuse metals, plastics, and glass.

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metal glass plastic

And finally, all the hazardous waste, such as mercury, PCBs, and spent oil, is collected and disposed of legally. 

If you buy a new refrigerator from some stores, the old one will often be removed and recycled for free.

Get confirmation from the store that your previous unit will be discarded and not resold as a used one that will not work either.

Tip: When purchasing a new refrigerator, you may be eligible for a cash rebate from the manufacturer, so confirm that as well. 

Connect With State Energy Office

connect state energy office

Another option to consider when recycling your refrigerator is to get in touch with your local electric utility or State Energy Office.

These organizations are backing more and more recycling initiatives for old fridges and freezers.

You can receive money or credits toward your utility bills if you participate in specific recycling programs. 

Get in Touch With Local Waste Management

call local waste management

When recycling, you can also take advantage of local services, such as municipal pick-up of refrigerators and appliances.

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You can check with your city’s waste management department to see if they have any special programs for recycling large appliances or hauling away bulky trash.   

Can Scrap Metal Collectors Help Dispose of Your Refrigerator?

helping throwing fridge

Copper, aluminum, steel, and iron are just some of the precious metals in your refrigerator which are attractive for scrap collectors.

To make use of recyclable metals, several scrap metal collectors are willing to purchase both household and commercial refrigerators.

But not all of them may be interested owing to the complexities involved in disassembling your refrigerator. 

Why Cannot All Scrap Collectors Take Refrigerators?

why cannot all

A scrap metal collector who also accepts refrigerators must be authorized to handle the hazardous refrigerant contained within the appliance.

The thing is that older refrigerators often contain Freon-12, a non-combustible greenhouse gas that, when released into the air, affects the ozone layer.

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Therefore, proper refrigerant removal is essential before throwing away such an appliance.

If they cannot do it themselves, they will have to pay an HVAC professional to haul it away and dispose of it safely.

Obviously, it is a hassle, so they decide not to get into this in the first place.

Similarly, most collectors will not be able to make good money off the metals in your refrigerator unless they have a large collection setup. 

Other Alternatives to Disposing of Refrigerators

other options

Spending money to repair a broken refrigerator is not always worth it.

But, if you cannot have it disposed of and have some free space in your home, you can try other alternatives. 

For instance: 

Use It as a Pantry

using it as pantry

If your refrigerator breaks, you can turn it into a room-temperature storage space for your perishables.

You can turn yours into a pantry by cleaning it well and moving it to a less-used area of your kitchen.

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It is also a good idea to repaint it before stocking the shelves with the kinds of boxed and canned items you would typically keep in a cupboard.

Tip: Removing the door gasket is essential to remove the air-tight seal and prevent any musty smell from developing. 

Use It as a Bookshelf

use it as a bookshelf

If your fridge has stopped cooling, you can still use its storage space. Remove the door, give it a little wipe-down, and your books will fit perfectly.

To complete the makeover of your new bookcase, consider painting the refrigerator and decorating the crisper drawers.   


Learning how to dispose of a refrigerator for free is a great way to free up some space in your home.

How you do it often depends on the condition of your refrigerator. You may consider recycling if it is ancient and refuses to work.

Otherwise, donating it may make a lot of sense. Just consider your unique circumstances and pick what suits you the most.