5 creative DIY projects for recycling your old fridge

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Does your fridge no longer work despite several attempts you’ve made to repair it?

Before you get rid of your appliance, consider a creative DIY project to give it a second life and add a unique look to your space.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the environmental impacts of a fridge that isn’t recycled responsibly, and suggest 5 DIY projects for reusing your defective or broken refrigerator.

If your old fridge still works or can be repaired, consider giving it a new look to match the style of your kitchen. This article on 5 DIY ideas for giving your old fridge a new look is sure to give you some inspiration.

Environmental impacts of an abandoned fridge

An old fridge left by the roadside will not be recycled responsibly and will generate an average of one tonne of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Responsibly recycling your fridge at one of GoRecycle’s 300 drop-off points, however, is equivalent to using your reusable coffee mug 13,870 times.

Reusing your appliance is a cost-effective and eco-friendly disposal solution. Plus, you won’t have to worry about hauling out your old appliance, as it will take on a new purpose in your home. This is also called upcycling.


Before converting your old fridge and giving it a second life, it is crucial to first call upon a refrigeration professional to remove all refrigerant gases from your appliance.

For your safety and the protection of the environment, you must never remove refrigerant gases yourself.

As mentioned, when a refrigerator is recycled improperly, it emits an average of one tonne of GHG. Refrigerant gases in fridges are largely responsible for the greenhouse gases your appliance releases into the environment.

1.  Recycle your fridge into a storage cabinet or pantry

Recycling your fridge by converting it into a pantry is an easy and creative solution for any kitchen that’s low on storage. Simply remove fridge doors and store your canned goods and food items inside.

You can also transform your fridge into a storage cabinet or shelving unit. Whether you’re looking for a funky way to store your clothing or display decorative items, this project is sure to give your space a striking look. Customize it to your taste using paint, vinyl fridge wraps or decals.

Photo Credit: Murphy

Photo Credit: What To Do With Old…

2.  Recycle your fridge into a vegetable garden

Want a spacious bin for growing flowers, plants and vegetables? Reuse your fridge by removing its doors and shelving and turning it into an outdoor planter. You can also use your old fridge as a seedbed, or even as a giant compost bin or composter.

Let your creativity run wild by using vinyl stickers and paint to give it the perfect look for your outdoor space.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

3. Recycle your fridge into a wine cellar

Are you a wine lover? Why not transform a nonfunctional vintage fridge into a wine cellar? This project involves building wooden shelves and installing them within the fridge itself.

Photo Credit: Pinterest

4. Recycle your fridge into a bookshelf

Looking for an easy project that will add a quirky touch to any interior decor? Repurpose your old fridge into a bookshelf! Whether you choose to keep or remove the doors, select a style that coordinates with the look of your bedroom or living room.

Photo Credit: Little Piece of Me

5. Recycle your fridge into a giant outdoor cooler

A spacious outdoor cooler is a great solution for the cottage or for hosting friends and family in the yard or on the patio.

For around $40 worth of materials and using a few simple tools, you can keep your food and drinks fresh all day long. No more running back into the house for refills: everything you need is on ice, right at your fingertips!

Customize your giant cooler by giving it a modern or rustic feel that works with your outdoor space. Add a blackboard to display your menu, jot down a note for guests, or let the kids doodle.

Photo Credit: Pinterest


As you can see, there are many ways to salvage your broken refrigerator and give it a second life in your home. Remember to contact a refrigeration professional before beginning any DIY project on your old fridge.
Happy upcycling!

About GoRecycle

GoRecycle is the only organization recognized by RECYC-QUÉBEC that ensures the responsible recycling of cooling appliances in Quebec. We recycle refrigerators, air conditioners, freezers, wine coolers, dehumidifiers and water coolers through over 300 drop-off points in Quebec, and over 100 banner pickup partners with the purchase of a new fridge. GoRecycle is a non-profit organization (NPO).