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

Letter from Biffa Waste Services Ltd to local authorities 18 April 2001


  A substantial proportion of domestic white fridges are disposed of by agents working for the retail trade direct to car fragmentation plants. A proportion are also returned through Civic Amenity sites. From 1 January 2002 that may all be set to change with significant increases in numbers turning up at CA sites. Around 250,000 fridges are scrapped each month—that's an average of 1,000 for every Waste Collection Authority in the UK each month.

  Why the increase in favour of CA sites? On 1 January the disposal of fridges with insulating foams containing CFC depleting substances via plants producing uncontrolled releases could become illegal. The most modern car frag plants are not atmospherically self contained—with a result that the value of such fridges will disappear and retailers will be obliged to stockpile them or export them to countries with approved technologies utilising sealed destruction units with CFC recovery distillation units at their cost.

  Biffa is interested in developing the UK's first Environment Agency approved destruction route for domestic fridges. When the regulations are implemented it is unlikely that retailers will be keen to stockpile substantial quantities of scrap fridges and your CA sites may thus be inundated next February and March. Our intention is to offer a collection service for these units based on a unit cost service fee with containers placed at your facilities for loading. If you are interested in this service can we ask you to e-mail us or complete the enclosed questionnaire so that we can provide you with additional information.

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Prepared 25 April 2002