How to Dispose of a Fridge Freezer: Recycling, Skips & More

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Posted by HIPPO
How to dispose of a fridge-freezer correctly

Fridges have an estimated lifespan of about 11 years, although some fridges can be used for 20 years or more. While long lasting appliances are great news for both the environment and our budgets, disposing of appliances built in the early 2000s can come with challenges. Regulations about the gases used in fridges have changed several times over the past few decades, and it’s important to understand how to dispose of your fridge in the most eco-friendly way.

If you’re at a loss about what to do with your old fridge, there are plenty of methods you can use to dispose of fridge freezers in the UK. These range from a trip to the dump to arranging a home collection.

Can you Put a Fridge in a Skip?

The short answer is no, you should not attempt to put a fridge in a skip! If the mechanism is bumped or broken in the process, it could release ozone-damaging gases into the air. Even if you do manage to put the fridge into the skip carefully, the skip will be emptied out on the other end, and damage may still be done to the appliance. You should always check whether your skip hire company has a hazardous waste permit, and even if it does, double check with them before you put a fridge into the skip. The general rule of thumb, however, is not to do it!

Can you take Fridge Freezers to the Tip?

Fridge-freezers and white goods disposed at a recycling centre

Yes, if you have a big enough car to transport it and feel that you can safely lift it out of your home and into the boot, you can get rid of a fridge by taking it to the tip. As long as you haven’t exceeded your yearly tip trips, you can drive in and ask the employees to help you dispose of your appliance.

Can you Dispose of a Fridge Freezer at Home?

If you don’t have a big enough car, you don’t drive, or you don’t want the hassle of getting rid of an old refrigerator yourself, requesting a man and van rubbish removal team is a great way to get rid of large appliances like fridge freezers, and you don’t have to worry about the disposal process after it leaves your door. You can rest assured that a legitimate UK company will follow government disposal guidelines, but if you’re worried about the environment, make sure to check the company’s sustainability goals before hiring.

It’s also possible that the retailer you bought your new fridge freezer from will offer to dispose of the old one for you. To find out whether they’ll do this, check their company policy and any documentation you received when you bought your appliance.

You can also contact your local council to request the removal of your fridge. When notifying them, you will be asked whether your fridge has ‘F’ gas inside. This refers to the harmful substances CFC, HFC 245fa and HFC 3465mfc. These gases were discontinued in 2015, so if you bought your fridge beforehand, you should always check the make and model to determine whether they’re present.

Fridge Freezer Recycling Options

A fridge fly-tipped in the countryside

Fridge freezers can be recycled, although it’s more of a process than recycling non-electrical appliances! You can take your old fridge to your local recycling plant as long as you have a vehicle large enough to transport it. Your appliance will then be broken down into parts, the gas removed with a vacuum, and the component materials recycled.

If your fridge isn’t broken yet, you can recycle it by passing it onto someone else second-hand. You can do this by giving it to a charity shop, or by selling it on a site such as eBay, Gumtree, or Facebook Marketplace. Make sure to give the new owner all of the appliance details so that they can make the best decision for disposal when they replace it when it has reached the end of its lifecycle.

Many household appliances can be disposed of in an eco-friendly way. If you’re struggling to know what to do with your waste, check out our other guides on how to dispose of a mattress responsibly and how to dispose of all your waste in the kitchen. 

At HIPPO, we pride ourselves on our eco-friendly waste disposal methods. If you’d like a personalised quote on getting rid of your old fridge freezer, complete our quick and easy form today.