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Where to Get Rid of Old Refrigerator

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Disposing of an old refrigerator may seem like a daunting task due to their size and weight. However, there are several ways to get rid of your old appliance, from recycling and donation programs to retailer take-back services and junk removal companies. In this article, we will explore these options in detail and provide you with the necessary information to make an environmentally responsible decision.


There are several ways to get rid of an old refrigerator. You can use appliance recycling programs, retailer take-back programs, municipal pick-up services, or donate it if it’s still working. Alternatively, you can contact a recycling center, use junk removal services, drop it off at sanitation convenience centers, or use manufacturer recycling programs. Always ensure to dispose of your old refrigerator in a way that’s environmentally responsible.

Appliance Recycling Programs

Some utility companies and energy-efficiency organizations offer refrigerator and freezer recycling programs. These programs not only ensure that your old appliance is disposed of responsibly, but they may also provide cash incentives or utility bill credits. For example, Dominion Energy offers a $20 cash incentive for recycling old, working refrigerators or freezers.

Retailer Take-Back Programs

Many appliance retailers, like Best Buy and GE Appliances, offer take-back programs when you purchase a new one. They will pick up and recycle your old fridge, ensuring that it is disposed of properly and not resold as an inefficient second-hand unit.

Municipal Pick-Up Services

Your local waste management company might offer bulky waste collection programs for large appliances. You may need to schedule a collection with your local solid waste office, so make sure to check their specific requirements and fees.


If your refrigerator is still in working condition, consider donating it to a local charity or nonprofit organization. Organizations like Habitat for Humanity ReStore, The Salvation Army, or Goodwill often accept appliance donations and may even offer pick-up services.

Recycling Centers

Contact a nearby recycling center to dispose of your old refrigerator in an environmentally friendly way. The EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program can help you find the best refrigerator recycling solution in your area.

Junk Removal Services

Companies like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? and LoadUp offer refrigerator disposal and pick-up services for a fee. They can help you dispose of your old refrigerator and recycle it in an eco-friendly manner whenever possible.

Sanitation Convenience Centers

In some cities, like Philadelphia, you can drop off large appliances at sanitation convenience centers for recycling. Check with your local sanitation department for details.

Manufacturer Recycling Programs

Some manufacturers, like BSH Home Appliances and General Electric, have partnered with the EPA’s RAD program to offer recycling options for their appliances.

Before disposing of your old refrigerator, make sure to clean it out, defrost it, and disconnect any water lines. Also, check with the organization or service you choose to ensure they accept your specific appliance and follow any preparation requirements they may have.

Remember, improper disposal of a refrigerator can have several negative environmental implications, such as the release of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gas emissions, groundwater contamination, landfill pollution, and the release of other hazardous substances. By choosing one of the options listed above, you can ensure that your old refrigerator is disposed of in an environmentally responsible manner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to my old refrigerator when it’s recycled?

When a refrigerator is recycled, it’s safely dismantled and its various components are separated. Metals, plastics, and glass are typically recovered and reused in the manufacturing of new products. The refrigerant and foam insulation, which can be harmful to the environment, are properly disposed of or destroyed.

I live in a rural area. What options do I have for recycling my old refrigerator?

If you live in a rural area, your options might be more limited. However, you can still reach out to your local waste management company to see if they offer pick-up services. You can also consider hiring a junk removal service, or if you’re purchasing a new appliance, see if the retailer offers a take-back program.

Can I just leave my old refrigerator on the curb for trash pick-up?

Leaving your old refrigerator on the curb for regular trash pick-up is generally not recommended. Not only can it be a violation of local laws, but it also contributes to landfill pollution and does not allow for the appliance to be recycled. It’s better to use one of the disposal methods mentioned in the article.

How do I prepare my refrigerator for recycling or donation?

Before recycling or donating your refrigerator, you should clean it out thoroughly, defrost it, and disconnect any water lines. If you’re donating it, make sure it’s in working condition. Also, check with the organization or service you choose to see if they have any additional preparation requirements.

Is there a cost associated with disposing of my old refrigerator?

The cost can vary depending on the method you choose. Some recycling programs may offer cash incentives or utility bill credits that can offset any costs. Retailer take-back programs might be free if you’re purchasing a new appliance. Junk removal services and some municipal pick-up services usually charge a fee. It’s best to check with the specific service or program for details.

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