You have several options for dealing with an old refrigerator, and the best choice depends on whether the appliance still works. While throwing out an old refrigerator is an option, there are several other choices that are both more environmentally friendly and that could net you money. Whatever you decide to do with the old refrigerator, be sure to defrost it with the doors open overnight, and wipe it down thoroughly to prevent mould growth.
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Throw It Away
The most straightforward option for an old refrigerator is to dispose of it through your garbage collection service. Many people prefer this choice because it is simple and requires little planning. It also is an option for refrigerators that are completely broken and cannot be passed on. However, refrigerators contain elements, such as coolant, that can be harmful if leeched into the ground. Consider the environmental ramifications before throwing out your old refrigerator. Many jurisdictions also limit the frequency and quantity of bulky items for trash collection. Contact your local authorities about guidelines, and try to schedule an appointment at least several days in advance for a bulk pickup if required.
Hire Delivery Crew to Haul It Away
Most people getting rid of an old refrigerator have a new one coming in. Retailers often offer a deal to haul away the old appliance when the new one is delivered. This deal usually is a trade-off. For instance, you can get so much off of the standard delivery fee or get the old appliance hauled away -- but not both. If you choose this route, help out the delivery crew by wrapping the cord with tape and carefully tucking it into the back grill of the refrigerator, and secure the doors with tape or rope. Ask the company in advance if it will throw out or recycle the appliance if that is important to you.
Contact your local recycling authority to inquire if it accepts refrigerators for recycling. Your utility company also may run a recycling program. Recycling is an ideal option for people uncomfortable with simply throwing out the appliance. Recycling centres usually remove harmful elements and break down the refrigerator as much as possible to recyclable parts and scrap metal. Some authorities will levy a fee to pick up and recycle your appliance; however, some utility companies offer credits for getting rid of an energy-inefficient refrigerator.
Working refrigerators can have a life after your household. If you're upgrading to a newer model but your fridge is in working order, contact several organisations to inquire about donations. National organisations that accept donated, working refrigerators include the Salvation Army, American Council of the Blind, Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul thrift stores. Habitat for Humanity also runs a nationwide chain of Restore outlets that sell donated goods to finance Habitat building projects. Your area likely has several local organisations that will benefit from and accept old refrigerators. Contact churches, shelters, pet shelters and schools in low-income districts to ask if any will accept your donation. All of these organisations may have minimum requirements for donations, such as refrigerators manufactured after a certain date. Remember to keep track of your donation, and ask for a receipt as you could receive donation deductions on your tax return.
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