Every year around 3 million fridges are disposed of in the UK, and it has started to feel like most of them show up in Larkey Valley Woods.
So, what exactly can you do to make sure that your fridge doesn't end up blighting the countryside and opening you up to a big fine? Here I go through your best options.
Donate or Sell
If your fridge is still in good working order then the absolute best thing for the environment is to sell or donate it. If you don't have any friends and family looking for a used fridge, there are a number of websites dedicated to reusing items that are no longer of use to you such as Freecycle.
Ebay, Facebook marketplace and Gumtree can be a great place to sell your unwanted items. It's very important to bear in mind that your fridges and freezers contain harmful substances and they must be handled with care.
Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC)
With Kent County Council reopening it's tips recently, you are now able to make an appointment to dispose of your unwanted fridges. You can check the opening times here.
Make sure to take care when transporting your fridge to the local tip, as they contain harmful substances that can leak out.
New Fridge Company
Very often the company that you have purchased your fridge from remove and dispose of your fridge for you in a responsible way. They will usually charge £15-£30 for this.
Local Council Collections
As a resident, your local council is obliged to provide a collection service for your old fridge. The council tends to not charge too much to do this (
Canterbury City Council charge £32.45 per item
Ashford Borough Council charge £25.00
Swale Borough Council charge £25.00
Thanet District Council charge £35.50
Dover District Council charge £31.47
Folkestone and Hythe District Council charge £24.99
These are usually collected on the same day as your normal household waste collection and you can sometimes have to wait a few weeks. The council will also require you to leave the fridge in the same place your household waste is usually collected from.
Waste Removal Company
You can also contact a specialist waste removal company like Easy Clear Out to collect and dispose of your fridge. The advantage of using a specialist like us is that our response times are typically much faster than the council, we can collect from within the property and do all the heavy lifting for you. We usually charge an additional £35 to remove a domestic fridge as part of a larger clear out, or if you would like just the fridge collected, it costs £64.99 and can be booked online by selecting our 1yd³ clear out.
Beware of anyone charging less that this because the actual cost to waste contractors to dispose of fridges is relatively high, so lower prices indicate improper disposal. To fulfil your Duty of Care remember to check they are properly licensed with the Environment Agency and ask for a Hazardous Waste Consignment Note detailing what was taken and where it will end up.
What legislation is involved in disposal of fridges?
The Waste (Household Waste Duty of Care) (England and Wales) Regulations 2005 state that all householders have a duty of care to make sure that the waste they are disposing of (not just fridges) is disposed of properly. This means that you need to ensure that you have either taken it to a licensed waste facility, or that you have contracted a licensed waste carrier. Breach of your duty of care is a criminal offence and can lead to a civil penalty if you waste ends up disposed of inappropriately.
Removal of ODS - EC Regulation 2037/2000 all refrigeration units containing Ozone Depleting Substances, must have those ODS removed in a controlled manner before the appliance is scrapped. Failure to comply with these can lead to fines of up to £2500 and prosecution.
Recycling and Recovery - The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Regulations place an obligation on all manufacturers, retailers, distributors, local authorities, waste management companies, importers, exporters and business users to reuse, recycle and recover fridge units wherever possible.