How Do I Dispose of an Old Refrigerator?

16 Easy and Creative Ways

Getting rid of a refrigerator is as easy as following one of these 16 easy and creative ways:

  1. Municipal Collection Services
  2. Recycling Programs
  3. Convert into a Planter
  4. Outdoor Cooler
  5. Utility Company Programs
  6. Appliance Retailers
  7. Pet House
  8. Junk Removal Services
  9. Charitable Organizations
  10. Online Marketplaces
  11. Landfill with Appliance Disposal Area
  12. Local Repair Shops
  13. Transform into a Bookshelf or Storage Unit
  14. Art Project
  15. Aquarium or Terrarium
  16. Photography Project
    *Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Guidelines
    : Always follow EPA guidelines for refrigerator disposal. The EPA provides resources for finding facilities that can safely remove refrigerants and other hazardous components.
old refrigerator dog house

Municipal Collection Services

Getting rid of a refrigerator is typically something that your city or county disposal center can take care of.  There may be a program where they come to your home and pick it up, or they may accept it at a landfill for either free or a nominal charge. Pricing varies greatly with each location.

Recycling Programs

What is your refrigerator made of?  Metal by chance?  If so, there are many places in your area that may even give you money for your appliance.  Make sure to call around to get the best price!

Convert into a Planter

I’m a sucker for the creative solutions, and I think just about every piece of furniture / appliance can be used as a centerpiece in a garden.  Granted not all fridges are great in the garden, the older and more vintage they look the better in our opinion.

fridge turned into a planter

Outdoor Cooler

Do you host in the summer months?  If so, maybe rather than getting rid of your old refrigerator you should move it to the backyard.  Keeping the conversation going without having to go inside every time you want a beverage is a great little hack!

Utility Company Programs

Is your refrigerator so old that it doesn’t meet certain energy saving requirements?  If so, they may have a program that accepts your old refrigerator for no cost.  Reach out to your local Utility Company and make sure to ask!

Appliance Retailers

Many times when you purchase a new refrigerator, they have a service that removes the old refrigerator.  So rather than have to worry about what you’re going to do with disposing of it, call around local retailers and ask if they have a removal program upon purchase.

Pet House

This one’s a bit silly, but it sounds great in theory.  I’ve never actually seen one, but I can imagine what it could look like!

old refrigerator dog house

Junk Removal Services

Tried and true, a local junk removal company would know how and where to dispose an old appliance properly.  While it isn’t the cheapest option, it is almost always the easiest.

Charitable Organizations

Is your old refrigerator in good condition?  Reach out to local charities, thrift stores, and see if they would be interested in a good working refrigerator.

thrift store

Online Marketplaces

If your old refrigerator is in excellent condition, it may be possible for you to make a little money selling it online.  People are always looking for deals online, so make sure to price it fairly and negotiate!

Landfill with Appliance Disposal Area

Almost every landfill accepts appliances.  However, they differ greatly in terms of cost.  Sometimes you are allotted a certain number of free residential drop offs everyday, while others charge by volume.  Make sure you know ahead of time by calling so you’re not surprised with a bill you weren’t prepared for!

Local Repair Shops

Sometimes old appliances are great for parts.  How to know if your old refrigerator is a good candidate for this is only known once you reach out and ask.  Depending on what you have, they may even pay you for it!

Transform into a Bookshelf or Storage Unit

Taking off the door and turning it into a bookshelf seems pretty cool if you ask me!

Art Project

Slap a new paint job on it and put it in the backyard for a great conversation piece when you have your next gathering.

fridge art

Aquarium or Terrarium

This one doesn’t really seem reasonable, but it’s fun to think about and may stir up some ideas within you!  Can you imagine?  Opening a refrigerator door and seeing an aquarium?  What a fun surprise?

old fridge aquarium


Depending on your financial situation and the quality of your old refrigerator, we hope you found at least one creative solution to help you solve your problem!  If you decide you want a professional company to haul it away, or you want to learn more, give us a call or fill out the form!

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About the Author: Nicholas Krygier

Nick is the co-founder / owner of American River Hauling and Junk Removal llc. We take pride in doing what's best for our community, answering the phone, and delivering on promises.