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How to dispose of your refrigerator responsibly

Refrigerators and other cooling units contain greenhouse gases (primarily HFCs) which can be 1000 to 9000 times more likely to create climate warming than carbon dioxide.

Because of this, there are plans at an international level to phase these gases out over the coming years, but in the meantime, most fridges currently in circulation contain these gases. The impact on our climate could be considerably reduced by the responsible disposal of fridges when they reach the end of their usable life.

Because of this Nelson City Council pays a contractor to remove and destroy refrigeration gasses if you drop your fridge off at the transfer station (the minimum drop off charge applies).

Options for disposal

Extend the life of your fridge

  • Keep dust off the coils at the back of the fridge
  • Make sure the door seals (gaskets) are clean and effective (put a torch in your fridge and then see if there is any light coming out when you turn the lights off in the kitchen). Replace them if they’re not performing well.
  • Keep your fridge away from other appliances so it won’t be made to work harder because of the heat they generate (obviously positioning them out of the sun helps too)

Donate or sell

If you’re changing your fridge but it still works well – consider selling or gifting (there are a range of online sites that will enable you to do this)

Transfer Station

If your fridge has come to the end of its life, take it to the local transfer station where Council will ensure all refrigerant gases are removed and destroyed charges apply. Learn more on our Rubbish collection and disposal page.