The easiest way to dispose of an old refrigerator is to contact the local sanitation department that picks up the trash in a neighborhood. It often has a division that deals with large home appliances.
Federal law requires that older refrigerators be disposed of properly because of the potential harmful chemicals they contain, such as Freon. If the local municipality does not have the ability to remove the appliance, a local recycling center may be able to take the refrigerator. A recycling center can dispose of the chemicals safely and still reuse the available parts. Some centers even arrange for pick up; however, if leaving an older refrigerator unattended outside, an owner should make sure to remove the outer doors so no one can get trapped inside of it. Another option is to call the local electric provider because it often participates in government programs to reduce the amount of inappropriately abandoned appliances.
If the refrigerator is being replaced by a new one, ask the retailer if it can take the old one. A lot of appliance dealers haul away the old unit without charging a fee. Another option is to contact a scrap-metal dealer, because it can safely remove the chemicals and pay for the metal.