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

Correspondence from Dixon's Group plc to the Global Atmosphere Division, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, 5 December 2000

  Re: EC Regulation 2037/2000

  Following your recent memo regarding Regulation 2037/2000 on the export of second hand fridge's and freezers, I am disappointed to see that you have chosen to ignore our point of view. As we predicted, our current contractors are beginning to close down and go out of business (please see the annexed letter as an example). We envisage that by the end of this week, eight of our distribution facilities will be without an onward scrap-processing contractor as the impact of the Regulation continues to bite.

  As a consequence of the distinct lack of practicable processing routes available to us, the most likely scenario now is that Dixons Stores Group will alter its service proposition with regard to accepting such appliances from customers. Ultimately, the costs associated with correctly processing these appliances will rest with local Government—either as local authorities are required to step up their bulky collection services, or as more appliances are recovered having been "fly-tipped" in hedges and fields. The recovery route will effectively have been shifted from one that is well-defined and environmentally sound to one that is irresponsible and random.

  Alternatively, with re-use seemingly off of the agenda, material recycling will be the last remaining option. Therefore, we await your decision on the level of treatment necessary for foams containing ozone-depleting substances, and we hope that in this instance you will bear in mind the lack of processing facility available in the UK for these materials. The costs that will result from a requirement for this level of treatment will be high for the consumer to inherit and high for local Government.

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