[This post originally appeared here in April 2018. It has been expanded upon, revised, and updated to reflect more recent information.]
The refrigerator is probably the central fixture of any kitchen besides the stove. But, like any appliance, they become dated and old, and eventually need to be replaced.
However, just moving an old refrigerator can be a major chore. So, how does a typical homeowner manage refrigerator recycling?
A New Age for New Refrigerators is Here
If you've been thinking about upgrading to a new high-tech refrigerator, this is a great time to do so. New models now come complete with smart technology, temperature sensors, water filtration systems, and energy saving features. Not to mention a wide selection of colors and designs.
And AI and other smart features are improving with the latest models of refrigerators, as well.
One article notes that,
"[T]he main smart feature that's essential in a refrigerator—in our opinion, at least—is the ability to get a notification if the fridge door doesn't fully shut or if the freezer door pops open because it's just way too packed.
Another practical smart application that's becoming more of a staple? Diagnostics. Your fridge is better than ever at knowing what's going wrong with it, and it can help you pinpoint problems before they worsen—or at least make the visit from a repair technician more efficient."
Today's newest generation of home kitchen refrigerators are featuring several innovations that make upgrading from your old fridge much more tempting.
For example, many newer models come with a combination of food zones which serve to store and compartmentalize the different types of food. While some food zones are flexible, others are specific to a certain food group or type of product.
And newer refrigerators have many re-engineered standard features.
As another article points out,
"You can also expect that refrigerators will make handles a thing of the past. Incorporation with smart technology will give refrigerators an auto assist feature to streamline your kitchen processes.
Manufacturers are also elevating the ice makers in the refrigerator, so that it filters the water (for the ice) as well. Others have changed the shape of the cube to spherical to attract the connoisseur of craft cocktail drinkers."
For many homeowners, a new refrigerator can be much more than a "wish list" item - it may be an essential purchase that they've been putting off. However, at some point that old refrigerator has really got to go to make room for a much more energy-efficient and multi-functional appliance.
But the question, then, is "What do you do with your old refrigerator?"
Maybe you want to keep it and put it out in your garage. More likely, however, you don't really want to try to dispose of because you know that old refrigerator disposal is not always easy. In fact, it can be a troublesome task for anyone.
Refrigerator Disposal is not a Trip to the Local Landfill
Not only is your refrigerator probably the heaviest appliance in your house, it's also not something you can just leave with the trash on garbage day.
Nor should you simply take it to the county dump, assuming you have the means to do so.
Old refrigerators need to be disposed of in a proper manner or they can release chemicals that are harmful to the environment. And the problem with old refrigerators for many homeowners is that, if you can't give it away or sell it, you still have to get rid of it somehow.
It's been estimated that 11 million refrigerators/freezers are disposed of each year. If the units are less than 10 years old and are in working condition, they are likely being re-sold or donated somewhere.
However, residential refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 1995 typically contain a chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant. Similarly, most window air-conditioning units and dehumidifiers contain hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant.
These CFCs and HCFC refrigerants are ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and can damage the ozone layer if released into the environment. In addition, CFC and HCFC substances are believed to be potent “greenhouse gases.”
Fortunately, most refrigerators and freezers made after 1995 contain ozone-friendly hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants. This is true for window air-conditioning units and dehumidifiers manufactured since 2010, as well.
Even so, appliances containing these refrigerants still need to be disposed of properly since HFCs are also considered to be greenhouse gases.
The fact is that most organizations, including the Environmental Protection Agency, strongly recommend refrigerator recycling as opposed to landfilling. As the EPA states on one of their websites, the proper disposal of an old fridge or freezer will:
- Reduce your household energy consumption, which will save you money and prevent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Avoid the release of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and GHGs, which contribute to ozone depletion and climate change
- Save landfill space and energy by recycling—rather than landfilling—the metals, plastics, and glass contained in your appliance
- Avoid the release of used oil, which can cause damage to the liver, brain, immune system, and reproductive system
- Avoid the release of mercury, which can lead to impairment of neurological development and other problems associated with the human nervous system
- Avoid the release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), which can have carcinogenic and non-cancerous health effects
So, if recycling refrigerators is the best disposal solution, how do you make that happens easily?
Old Refrigerators Can Be Recycled - And Not as a DIY Project
Refrigerator recycling is a great option. And there are several reasons why.
Approximately 98 percent of all the materials from your refrigerator are recyclable. Almost all of it! And with proper recycling, all the harmful chemicals are safely disposed of and almost nothing goes to a landfill.
Proper recycling, however, includes processing all of the components and materials in a fridge in an environmentally safe manner, including the insulating foam hidden inside the walls of units.
According to one manufacturer,
Approximately eleven million refrigerators are disposed of annually in the U.S., and only a fraction has the insulating foam in their walls and doors recycled. While 90 percent of used refrigerators in the U.S. are shredded for their metal, the remaining foam and other materials are typically crushed — releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — and sent to a landfill.
But guaranteeing proper disposal and recycling can prevent that and ensure a more eco-friendly way of getting rid of your old refrigerator.
And here's where it gets really good. You don't have to do all that yourself!
Moving, loading, and transporting an old refrigerator is not the easiest DIY job for a homeowner. And the truth is that many homeowners do not possess the equipment, tools, or vehicle to make this happen anyway.
Not to worry! Because the easiest way to get rid of your old refrigerator in an eco-friendly manner is to call a reliable, affordable and genuinely green junk removal service.
And Junk King is your best choice for the job!
Dispose of Your Refrigerator With the Junk Removal Experts
Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly refrigerator disposal service to make the whole process easy for you. Our experienced refrigerator removal team has the manpower to haul off that old fridge without damaging your home in the process.
We do all the heavy lifting!
Finally, we’ll make sure that the refrigerator is disposed of at a proper recycling facility so that it doesn’t do any harm to our ecosystem.
Our professional and insured refrigerator disposal team will show up at your home (or office) on time, as promised, and we'll call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive on site. Once we're there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your old refrigerator and other junk items take up in our truck.
You simply point and we'll haul your old fridge and other items into our junk removal trucks, and do it all without any hidden fees.
So, are you ready to get rid of your old refrigerator? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
You make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865)