[This post originally appeared here in October 2019. It has been expanded upon, revised, and updated to reflect more recent information.]
You really loved having that little refrigerator. Until it died unexpectedly. And now that you’ve replaced it with a new one, how to dispose of mini-fridge units can be a challenge.
While it may be tempting to try to get rid of your old mini-fridge by putting it out with the household trash, your local waste management company is highly unlikely to pick it up. And if it's still working, you might be tempted to put it out there with a sign on it. Not a good idea!
When You're Searching for 'Mini Fridge Disposal Near Me'
Getting rid of old appliances, no matter what type or what size, can be a challenge. Some might even say it's a hassle. But if they no longer work they have to be disposed of somehow. And that doesn't include being dumped in a field somewhere or on the side of country road.
Old appliances, especially refrigerators, pose a real safety hazard to young children.
You may have heard the horror stories though, thankfully, they are less common today. But all refrigerators and freezers, regardless of their size, can be deadly. This is particularly true of the older units.
According to an entry at Wikipedia,
The Refrigerator Safety Act in 1956 was a U.S. law that required a change in the way refrigerator doors stay shut. It was codified at 15 U.S.C. 1211–1214 as Public Law 84-930, 70 Stat. 953, on 2 August 1956. The act applied to all refrigerators manufactured in the United States after 31 October 1958, and is largely responsible for the adoption of the magnetic mechanism that is used today instead of a latch. Individual American states also have similar laws, such as California and Washington.
The good news is that there are proper means for refrigerator disposal and it doesn't have to be challenging or difficult for you.
What Are You Supposed to Do With Old Appliances
When it comes to disposing of old appliances, including your mini-fridge, there are a couple of options.
If your unit is still in working condition you can consider selling it, donating it, or simply giving it to a friend or neighbor, if they want it.
Selling old, usable appliances today is far easier thanks to the Internet and selling sites like eBay, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Letgo and Nextdoor. According to a post at Nerdwallet.com,
“There’s a handful of major online auction and sales sites, and as you’ll see, some charge much lower fees than others. The major players, Amazon and eBay, have higher fees, but they’re also some of the most highly trafficked sites on the internet. If speed of sale is your goal, these sites are the way to go. If you’re trying to maximize your profit, you might take some more time to find a buyer on a smaller site.”
Donating can be a great option if you have a working appliance that’s clean and in good condition. Aside from the well-known thrift stores in your area, you might look for homeless shelters, group homes and other types of residential facilities that could make good use of a working mini-fridge.
If you don’t want to take the time and effort to sell your old appliance, or finding a good place to donate it, try giving it to a neighbor or family friend. Most everyone can make use of an extra refrigerator, especially one that doesn’t take up much space.
Say Good-Bye to Your Old Mini-Fridge
Okay. So, maybe you have an old mini-fridge that doesn’t work anymore. It died and you have to get rid of it now, but selling it or donating it is probably unlikely.
So, the natural question to ask is, "Where can I dispose of a mini-fridge?"
But a better question to ask is, "How to dispose of a mini-fridge?" because when you dispose of that old appliance in a proper, legal, and acceptable fashion, the "where" becomes self-explanatory.
For example, here’s a few common options to consider for that unusable appliance:
Sell as Scrap Metal - According to the Energy Star website: “Thousands of local scrap metal recyclers can recycle old fridges and freezers. Ask your scrap metal recycler for assurance that your old unit will be properly recycled.”
Selling your refrigerator “as is” will get you some cash although prices will vary at different scrap metal yards. Keep in mind, too, that most scrap yards will not accept a mini-fridge unless it’s been drained of the fluids. You can call local HVAC contractor to have the chemicals removed legally.
Sell to a Repair Shop - Some locales have businesses that buy old appliances to be repaired and then re-sold. If your unit is still in good shape and not hopelessly “un-fixable”, you might be able to sell it for more than you could at a scrap metal yard.
Another option might be to donate your recently deceased mini-fridge to a local school shop program or a vocational school.
If neither of these options work for you, all is not lost. You can always have your old mini-fridge picked up and hauled away to be recycled.
Wait! Mini-refrigerators can be recycled?
Well, as one source puts it,
The short answer is: yes. Refrigerators and freezers contain recyclable glass, plastic and metals. However, certain parts of a fridge must be recovered and disposed of properly before the rest of the appliance can be recycled.
Recycling Your Mini-Fridge Appliance
Refrigerators and similar appliances can and are recycled regularly, which is a good thing since trying to dispose of mini-fridge units at your local landfill isn’t a likely option either.
In fact, as of 2017, at least 22 states had banned appliances from being placed in landfills. This includes California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, according to the Earth911.com website.
Here are some refrigerator components that are recovered with recycling:
- Plastics and metals are removed and fully recycled, if applicable.
- Glass dividers and shelving are crushed and shipped to glass recycling plants.
- Compressors are removed and reused in other appliances.
- Oils are distilled and reused in other equipment. Compressor oils contaminated by refrigerant are properly removed and disposed of.
- Switches or thermostats that contain mercury are removed and distributed to certified handlers for salvaging.
- Polyurethane foam can be shipped to local waste-to-energy incinerators to create electricity that’s sent back to the grid.
Along with recovering valuable materials, recycling your mini-fridge can help prevent the emission of greenhouse gases, prevent the release of used oil, and reduce energy consumption.
How To Dispose Of Mini-Fridge Appliances With Junk King
Need to dispose of that mini-fridge right away?
Junk King provides an efficient, safe, and eco-friendly appliance removal service. With Junk King you don’t have to worry about the pickup or disposal of your junk appliances.
Because our priority is preserving the environment, we make sure that your old appliances end up in the right place: whether it’s a local charity, or a recycling facility. So contact us for all your appliance disposal needs.
So, ready to dispose of that old mini-fridge or other appliances? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Our professional and insured appliance removal team will show up at your home and we call 15 minutes before we arrive on site. Once there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your appliances take up in our truck. You point and we haul those items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
You can make an appointment by booking online or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).