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Can I put a fridge or fridge freezer in a skip? The simple answer to this is no. Both are classed as hazardous waste due to the refrigeration gases that are in the back of them. These gases can be very damaging to the environment, especially the Ozone layer.
Lots of customers at Findaskip Ltd ask us ‘why can’t I put a fridge in a skip?’ Fridges and fridge freezers are required to be handled with great care when it comes to disposal.
Modern fridges are built now with tetrafluoroethane — HFC-134a a gas that is less harmful to environment, however they still need to be treated with care when moving them or disposing of them. The older style fridges contain harmful CF gasses.
Skip hire companies are not permitted to accept fridges or fridge freezers back at their waste transfer stations unless they have a hazardous waste environmental permit that allows them to receive this type of waste.
All Skips that come back to waste transfer yards are tipped and sorted for reuse, recycling, recovery or disposal, when they are tipped in the yard the fridge or fridge freezer may be damaged in process and the hazardous refrigeration gasses at the back could be released into the atmosphere.
Great care must be taken when disposing of fridges and fridge freezers. Always seek professional advise before you do so. Some companies will come and collect these separately as part of their bulky waste collection service.
If you are buying a new one, the retailer may offer to take your old one away.
You need to ensure they are licensed responsible companies that have the correct licenses to handle your waste. Sometimes the cheapest option is not always the best solution as they could fly tip your waste. Ultimately you have a duty of care to dispose of your waste properly.
My advice is to contact your local council when disposing of fridges / fridge freezers. Some of them have a dedicated collection service for these items or have facilities at the local household recycling centres where you can drop these off.
You can apply to your local council through the government website to arrange collection, this is your safest way for disposal, the link is here, simply add your post code and it will direct you to your local council site.
So what does happen to fridges and freezers once you have thrown them out?
Most are degassed, it is important that this happens first as part of the recycling process. Once these have been removed the metals can be recycled along with other components. Old fridges and freezers were also exported to developing countries a number of years back, but this has now stopped as