Shopping for a new fridge

Fridge (iStock15148158)I recently had to purchase a new fridge after my 30-year-old fridge reached was on its last leg. After hiring an electrician to have the fridge fixed many times, we decided it was cheaper to buy a new fridge. New fridges are also more energy efficient.

While out shopping, the new fridges available for purchase made me realize I’d been living in the Stone Age with my old ice box. Some new fridges have smart computers with television sets and internet access right on the door. Most have stainless steel finishes where fridge magnets will not stick.

What was interesting to see was, no matter the price-point of the fridge, most only had a one-year warranty.  The sales person informed us that all new fridges are controlled by a computer motherboard which can often break.  She stated that if we were lucky, these fridges would last five to seven years.

Besides the high-tech gadgetry available, I had to consider the size of the fridge.  My old fridge had a fairly large freezer/fridge combo with 23.1 cubic litres of capacity.  The new fridges with the same capacity were a lot larger and would not fit in my kitchen.  The only option available was to downsize the capacity of the fridge.  This made me think, do I need such a large fridge?  What is currently in my fridge is a lot of leftovers, take-out containers and the results of my tendency to buy food in bulk.  Considering over 30% of the food we buy ends up being wasted, downsizing the fridge was a good idea, in addition to adopting some of these food saving tips.

When the new fridge arrived at our house, we ended up with a large corrugated cardboard box. In Halton, remember you must cut, bundle and tie your corrugated cardboard into 3 feet x 3 feet x 1 foot bundles. We can’t get the corrugated cardboard into the recycling trucks if you don’t cut the cardboard down.

Now that I had a new fridge, I had to get rid of the old one.  Fridges contain a number of harmful chemicals that are bad for the environment.  They also contain metal, glass and plastic components that can be recycled.  Here in Halton, if you have garbage collection, you can make an appointment for metal and appliance collection free of charge.  You can also drop off appliances at the Halton Waste Management Site. There’s a small cost for each appliance dropped off. In Ontario, most hydro companies also offer fridge recycling programs.

In North America, almost every house has a fridge. Most of these fridges last for a number of years before needing to be replaced. By recycling our old fridges and purchasing durable, well-made new fridges, we can make our environment a better place.

About joycewychan

I'm Joyce Chan, the Waste Management Program Coordinator for Halton Region where I am involved with project management. I am an avid skier and by using the Blue Box and GreenCart we can all help keep winter white.
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