Almost every home in the UK has a fridge, a freezer, or a combined fridge-freezer – according to a 2018 Euromonitor report cited by the Association of Manufacturers of Domestic Appliances, 96% of us have at least one of those.
So it’s no surprise that 83% of new fridges and freezers sold are bought as a replacement for an old, broken or inefficient model, based on Mintel’s 2018 Major Domestic Appliances UK report.
That leaves around three million fridges and freezers per year to get rid of, and it’s important to do it correctly.
Remember that you usually can’t just throw a fridge-freezer in a skip, because of the refrigerant gases they contain, but it’s worth asking your local skip hire provider if they can arrange a separate collection for disposal of a fridge-freezer.
Other ways to dispose of a fridge-freezer
If you’re getting rid of your fridge-freezer but it still works, it might still be useful to somebody else.
Charities don’t always accept electrical goods, especially large appliances, but you could ask friends and family, or list it on a local Facebook group or Freecycle site.
Reusing an appliance that still works is one of the most eco-friendly options – and even if your fridge-freezer isn’t A-rated for energy efficiency, it might be more efficient than the one it replaces.
You might even find someone willing to pay for your fridge-freezer if it’s in good, clean condition. Just try to sell or donate it locally so you don’t run up a carbon footprint by transporting it a long way.
Can I throw away a fridge-freezer?
Your local household waste recycling centre may accept fridge-freezers, although it’s worth checking beforehand to avoid a wasted journey.
In most cases you’ll have to arrange your own transport to get it there, and you may also have to lift it into a skip or container once you’re there, so this is an option for strong-armed people only!
Alternatively if you’re buying a new fridge-freezer, ask the retailer if they can remove your old one. They may charge a small fee for this though, so if you think you could sell your fridge-freezer locally at a profit, it’s up to you whether the cost outweighs the convenience.
Will the council take my fridge-freezer away?
Leeds City Council’s bulky household waste collection costs £20 a time for up to four items — a combined fridge-freezer should count as one item, whereas a separate fridge and freezer would count as two.
Make sure the inside is empty of any food and is fairly clean, and tape the doors closed so the appliance is safe to handle.
Leeds Council bulky waste collections cannot be used for very large fridge-freezers – including so-called ‘American’ fridge-freezers that are more than 6′ x 4′.
So if you have a very large fridge-freezer to dispose of, that cannot be safely handled by two people, you’ll need to arrange a separate collection.
You’re also only allowed four bulky waste collections each year, for up to four items each, so if you’ve renovated your whole house and already used up the maximum 16 items, again it’s unlikely Leeds City Council will take your fridge-freezer even for a fee.