Select Committee on Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Minutes of Evidence




  1.  The implementation of the ODS Regulation will put a substantial economic strain on Local Authorities in an event where retailers do not continue their take-back schemes. Without such commercial schemes householders will look to their local authorities who have a legal duty to take or collect household waste, to dispose of their old fridges. Despite the obligations on local authorities, the absence of a take-back scheme may also result in an increase in fly tipping.

  2.  The requirement to extract ODS from the insulating foam as well as the coolants will not make retailer take-back schemes financially viable. However, take-back schemes provide an effective and efficient collection system allowing retailers to demonstrate good customer service and corporate social responsibility, whilst supplying a source of second hand refrigeration units for social charities. All stakeholders are therefore keen to maintain the take-back scheme, particularly with a view to the forthcoming Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Directive.

  3.  Funding for managing the units has been assessed under the new burden's procedure. However, funding cannot be paid directly to retailers, therefore an innovative way to maintain the current take-back system needs to be employed.


  4.  The amendment of Section 52 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 will make payment of recycling credits, for domestic refrigeration equipment mandatory by Waste Disposal Authorities (WDA) to registered Third Parties.

  5.  Under the proposed scheme domestic refrigeration units will be given a unit cost that will enable a payment to be made by the WDA, therefore releasing the burden of increased administration. No other materials or goods will qualify for the recycling credit scheme therefore WDAs will not be inundated with requirements for recycling credits from other materials.

  6.  The "fridge" scheme will follow similar procedures (guidance will follow at a later date) that WDA currently employ.

  7.  The value of the credit has been initially placed at [£10] per unit.

  8.  To make a credit payment that represents the full cost will favour one party over another hence a cost that is uniform to all parties will have to be set.


    —  All third parties will need to register with a WDA to be an approved merchant for fridge credits.

    —  All storage handlers or recyclers must be registered separately and manage an approved validated storage facility.

    —  A fully certified audit trail will be required by the WDA.

    —  Certification receipts will be required from the storage or reprocessing facilities.

    —  Hand written receipts may be rejected if not certified by an authorising officer.

    —  It will be for the storage/recycler to determine whether the fridge has been used for domestic purposes, the WDA will have the ability to make regular inspections.

    —  The Recycling Credit will only be paid for refrigeration units that would have otherwise been disposed of in the area of the WDA.

    —  The location from which the collection(s) are made must be clearly stated ie street name, company etc.

    —  Third Parties operating within different Waste Disposal Authorities will need to be registered with each authority.

    —  The minimum claim will be determined by the respective WDA.

    —  False information supplied to the Registration Officer could result in . . .

WDA will perform the following functions:

    —  Compilation and maintenance of approved register of Third Party Collectors, Merchants and Recycling Processors;

    —  Payment of credits to registered fridge third party collectors; and

    —  Auditing and monitoring of payments.

  (Final certification may be presented by an approved validated storage facility (Annex IIB[1]—Recovery Operations Council Regulation 91/156/EEC) or an approved Recycler.)

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