How to Recycle an Old Refrigerator

What parts to scrap on a refrigeratorHow to recycle an old refrigerator? Recycling used appliances is very helpful to the environment. This allows companies to lower their overall production cost and saves the ozone.

Recycling can also benefit the recycler financially since a lot of recycling companies will pay for metal.

When you recycle you want to make sure that you are getting the most for what you are recycling and in this article we are going to explain how to recycle an old refrigerator.

In refrigerator scrap, you will find steel, copper, and aluminum.

This means that you can possibly recycle a refrigerator as a whole for mixed scrap.

However, you could most likely get more money by separating the metals and scrapping them individually depending on what the pay for each metal is at that time.

Remove the door(s) and look inside of the refrigerator for aluminum racks, shelves, and dividers. You can also find aluminum in the freezer.

Using a pair of wire cutters locate the beginning of the power cord and cut it. Continue cutting the cord removing the outer layer until you have the copper wire and protective coating left.

Use a wire stripper to remove the protective coating from the copper until you have exposed the copper wiring.

Locate the copper lines that contain the Freon. The removal of Freon from anything requires EPA Certification and the use of proper tools and equipment.



Since Freon is dangerous to the ozone any uncertified person caught removing it can be fined up to $25,000.00.

If you don’t know someone certified who could remove the Freon; you can look for local companies that rebuild air conditioners that may take the Freon for little to nothing.

Remove the copper lines. If they have the small steel wires across the back use a sawzall to separate it from the copper lines.

Unscrew the bolts that secure the compressor located on the bottom back of the refrigerator.

Some metal recyclers will pay for the compressor as a whole, so check first before you continue.

Inside the compressor is a copper motor that can be accessed by cutting the compressor with an angle grinder or sawzall if the scrap yard does not accept it as a whole.



Separate all of your refrigerator scrap according to metal type. This process on how to recycle an old refrigerator can be used on any scrap refrigerator, wine fridge or deep freezer that you find while out collecting scrap metal.

Additionally, many of the fridges today have a stainless steel or brushed aluminum shell around their bodies as well as on their doors.

It is not very thick but it is definitely worth removing because it is still worth money. This will also save you from having to reload the old fridge onto your truck.

Tip Although I suggest that you attempt to remove the parts from any old fridge that you find on location in order to save space in your truck, there is not always enough time to do this.

Therefore, if you find a fridge early on your route just load it up but if you find one at the end of the day, spend a few minutes removing its parts and let the local garbage man take the rest of the pieces.