Around three million refrigerators are disposed of each year in the UK, and people wonder, “Can you take a fridge to the tip?” The fridge contains substances that can be harmful to the environment, so they must be disposed of correctly.
If you have a way to transport your fridge, you can call to see if you can take it to the local tip. Normally, this is possible when you have a Household Waste Recycling Centre there.
How to Get Rid of a Fridge
You can put items from a construction site in the skip, including electric wiring, nails, roofing, and shingles. In addition to materials you use in construction, you can also throw in tree stumps, rubble, tree branches, and more.
If you are replacing your refrigerator, you may want to know how to get rid of a fridge. Take a look at the following options.
1. Donate or Sell Your Old Fridge
One way to get rid of your old refrigerator is to donate or sell it. If it still works, you will be able to find someone who needs it.
You can give it to someone you know, or look online for a website that lets you know if there are people who need it. There are also second-hand dealers that may be interested in buying it from you.
There are a lot of options for selling your old fridge, including Facebook Marketplace and other online sites. Make sure that you clean it before they come to pick it up.
2. Take it to the Tip
As long as you have transport that can carry your old fridge, you can take it to the local tip. Make sure that you check with them before you go as some local tips don’t take refrigerators.
If you can get it to the Household Waste Recycling Centre, they will dispose of it free of charge. The key is to do your research to verify that they will take it and then transport it there.
3. Ask If the Electrical Retailer Will Take it
When you buy a new refrigerator, the retailer might have a service where they deliver it and take away your old one. You will normally pay between £15 and £30 for this service, but it is worthwhile if you want to easily get rid of the old appliance.
4. Call the Local Authority for Collection
The local councils are obligated to offer a collection service for old refrigerators to their residents. This service is often quite affordable, but they might be slow to get to you.
Expect to wait for one to two weeks, and you need to move the refrigerator outside before they come.
5. Use a Waste Removal Company
You can call a waste removal company to help you move your fridge. You can’t throw it in a skip, but they do have services where they will remove it and dispose of it properly.
Make sure that you let them know that you have a fridge, and they will tell you what it costs and what you need to do.
What Kinds of Harmful Substances Are in Refrigerators?
Any refrigerator made before 2000 has chlorofluorocarbons or hydrochlorofluorocarbons in the material that is used to insulate the fridge as well as the refrigerant. These are compounds that are man-made, and they contain carbon, chlorine, fluorine, and hydrogen.
They are not toxic or flammable, and they were often used in refrigerators until they found out that the molecules were being broken down by UV rays. This caused them to release chlorine atoms that reduce the ozone layer.
If you have a fridge from this time, it probably contains these substances. You should be able to find out by looking at the plate that tells you what type of refrigerant it has.
Laws Regulating Refrigerator Disposal
There are three different laws that regulate the way that refrigerators are disposed of.
- Duty of Care: This legislation says that anyone who is getting rid of waste, including refrigerators, has a responsibility to make sure that it is properly disposed of. In other words, you need to make sure that you or anyone you hire disposes of it by taking it to a licenced waste facility.
- Removal of ODS: This law says that any refrigeration unit that has Ozone Depleting Substances has to have them removed before the appliance can be scrapped.
3. Recycling and Recovery: The WEEE says that manufacturers, retailers, distributors, local authorities, waste management companies, importers, exporters, and businesses must reuse, recycle, and recover refrigerator units whenever it is possible.
How Do They Recycle a Refrigerator?
If you are responsible for disposing of your refrigerator, when you drop it off or have it taken away, it will go to a dedicated refrigeration recycling plant. More than 95% of each fridge is recyclable, and they will take care of it.
First, they will deconstruct the fridge inside of a sealed environment so that the Ozone Depleting Substances can be removed safely. Then, they will separate all of the rest of the materials into plastics, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, and foam.
The compressor is also separated, and they remove oils and gasses with a vacuum. The CFC gasses are then removed from the oil with ultrasonics.
Sometimes the compressor can be reused once this process is complete. They shred the refrigerator in an enclosed nitrogen atmosphere, and the CFCC gasses are released from the insulating foam.
The insulating foam is then separated and disposed of. Ferrous metals are pulled out with a large overhead magnet, and they can be recycled. Non-ferrous metals are separated from plastics for recycling.
Finally, they cool the nitrogen to very low temperatures to separate the CFCs. Once they are liquified, they can be incinerated.
You can take your old refrigerator to the tip as long as you have transport to get it there. The important thing is that refrigerators must be disposed of properly, so you need to make sure that your local tip has the ability to receive it before you go.
There are a lot of different options for disposing of your old refrigerator, so you can choose the one that is most convenient for you. If you have transport, you may want to drop it at the tip, but if you have time and can wait, you will be able to have it picked up for no cost.