Did you know that you cannot dispose of your old fridge with your household waste? Refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners contain harmful chemicals that are hazardous to the environment. There is no point in trying to drag it to the curb, as sanitation workers won’t touch them. So what do you do with your old fridge when it has kicked the bucket?
The Ins and Outs of Appliance Disposal
For starters, lets look at why refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners are not collected during garbage pickups.
History of Refrigeration
Back in the 1920s, Freon was introduced as an alternate chemical for refrigeration. It was safer than the other commonly used refrigerants at the time—sulfur dioxide and methyl formate—but its hazards were as yet unknown. And those hazards would prove to be far more dangerous, to far more people.
So what exactly is Freon and why is it dangerous? Freon is a collection of chemicals more commonly known as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). While it is far less volatile than previous refrigerant chemicals, its dangers are more far-reaching.
In the 1970s, scientists discovered that our ozone layer had a hole in it. The ozone layer prevents harmful UVB rays from penetrating our atmosphere. Fears mounted that the growing hole would increase levels of sunburns, skin cancer, and cataracts, as well as damage to our environment. Scientists scrambled to figure out what caused the hole and how to stop it from growing.
By the 1980s, they realized one of the causes of the hole was due to ozone-depleting substances (ODS), like CFCs, HFCs, and HCFCs. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed by 46 countries worldwide, effectively creating a phase-out of chemical productions that depleted the earth’s ozone layer. Today, many amendments have been added and almost 200 countries have signed the protocol. These bans have effectively seen the growth stop, and scientists see signs that the ozone layer is recovering.
Fridge Disposal Today
While bans on producing ODSs have worked to reduce the harm to the ozone layer, there are still many fridges, freezers, and other refrigerant-based appliances out there that contain CFCs. Those appliances might do no harm in your home, but the gases and chemicals inside of them can still damage the ozone layer. In order to safely dispose of them, the chemicals need to be extracted by a licensed technician, before the rest of the unit can be recycled. So while places like Zubicks will gladly take your old fridge, it needs to have a CFC certificate attached, stating that any and all CFCs, HFCs, and HCFCs have been removed by a licensed technician.
Load of Rubbish’s Policy on Fridge Disposal
Are you a licensed technician? If not, what do you do with your old fridge? The easy answer is to call Load of Rubbish.
At Load of Rubbish, we collect plenty of old fridges, freezers, and air conditioners. Unlike some junk removal companies, we hold on to refrigerant-based appliances. Once we have enough units, we then contact a licensed service technician to have them serviced. With CFC certificate attached, we then take the old units to a recycler, where they get recycled for any precious metals or plastics.
Fridge disposal is easy for our customers with our attention to detail. Peace of mind in knowing that your old freezer is dealt with in an environmentally safe manner is part of our mandate. Book your fridge disposal with Load of Rubbish today and know you are part of the solution to protect the ozone layer.