Fridge Destruction Meeting 21 August 2001
ChairChris Megainey, DEFRA SecretariatAnna
Officials from DEFRA and DTI provided an overview
of the Regulation and outlined the objectives for the meeting.
DEFRA are writing to local authorities to inform
them of the likely impacts of the Regulation and their obligations
to remove ODS from foams.
The important link between retailer take-back
schemes and the WEEE was noted.
DEFRA confirmed that if the EC ODS Regulation
generates a new burden on Local Authorities then Government will
have to meet the increased cost. While the burden is most likely
to fall on local authorities consideration of more imaginative
solutions involving the private sector are not ruled out.
There was a brief discussion to confirm what
ODS are covered by the Regulationin the case of foam blowing
agents, CFCs (mainly CFC11) and HCFCs (mostly HCFC141b; some HCFC22).
[The prohibition on export outside the EU only covers CFCs, not
HCFCs]. Newer blowing agents, such as HFCs and hydrocarbons, are
not covered by the Regulation.
Many representatives from industry stressed
the need for certainty and a secure framework for investment decisions,
including three key areas: funding, standards for destruction
plants, and enforcement of destruction obligations.
Government accepted this, and saw this meeting,
bringing stakeholders together, as an important first step.
Industry explained that it would take around
10 months to install plants in the UK, and asked what plans there
were for the interim. Government confirmed that there were no
firm plans at present; options seemed to be to export to destruction
facilities in the EU (industry doubted there would be enough capacity)
or store fridges.
Recent work by Cranfield University had showed
that in terms of emissions of global warming, a fridge could be
transported a long way before the CO2 of transportation outweighed
the global warming effects of CFCs from the foam emitted direct
Government's preference, if competitive economically,
is to abide by the "proximity principle" and destroy
waste within the UK.
DEFRA and DTI are urgently considering the destruction
facility requirements in respect of commercial equipment. The
Commission had asked for information from Member States as to
action taken in this area. EAC confirmed that they could handle
commercial equipment by separating panels and where necessary
cutting them up.
Peter Jones (Biffa) estimated there would be
1/3 million tonnes refrigeration equipment per year.
DEFRA confirmed that refrigeration equipment
could be disposed of by incineration, namely via a high temperature
incinerator. Lorie Randall (DARP) estimated this would cost about
£70/fridge. Cost estimates for the proposed UK facilities
are £20-£30/fridge; and more than £15/fridge to
ship to Germany.
Paul Ashford (TEAP/TOC) explained that an international
task force on ODS destruction would consider which routes of destruction
would be acceptable, including incineration. The impact of foam
going through low-temperature incinerators at low enough concentrations
(5 per cent by weight, which can be quite a lot of foam) had been
found to be OK.
Different options existed. Christoph Becker
(RAL) outlined the German approach to setting standards. Clwyd
Refrigeration outlined their alternative approach. Paul Ashford
provided an overview of the work at international level in the
context of the Montreal Protocol being undertaken.
Chris Megainey emphasised the need to maintain
the collection infrastructure that exists, or to replace it with
something equally good. UK Government needed to think radically
Jeff Sleight (Small Business Service) asked
whether the UK could argue to the European Commission that we
need more time to implement the Regulation. Chris Megainey said
there would run the risk of being susceptible to infraction proceedings
by the Commission. It was acknowledged that SMEs need to be kept
informed on progress on these issues.
The Environment Agency confirmed that the CFC
extraction plants would be regulated under the Waste Management
Licensing Regulations. Individual sites would be considered separately.
There was confusion about the implications of
the forthcoming changes to the Hazardous Waste List, and also
about exemption 28 of the Waste Management Licensing Regulations.
Chris Megainey explained the need to review the current exemptions
in response to challenge from the European Commission, but said
that the Government will do all it can to minimise the increased
burden. DEFRA offered a meeting with retailers to discuss these
CFCs have not been used in foam since about
1995 and HCFCs are now being phased out. However Peter Jones (Biffa)
thought the plants would still be viable in the long term.
FRNsocial enterprises take in and refurbish
old fridges, but can't afford to be left with ones which can't
be fixed and will be expensive to dispose of.
Alex Goodwin (Energy Savings Trust) provided
information on the "Fridge savers" scheme funded by
power generators. This encourages people to get new energy efficient
fridges, however, the scheme will not be viable at £30/fridge
disposal cost and alternative schemes will have to be considered.
set up email network so issues can
schedule a follow-up meeting to report
back on progress; and
group asked to submit any further
Attendees at the Fridge Destruction meeting
21 August 2001
|Energy Savings Trust
|Cranfield University / Biffaward
|FETA / BRA
|Ms Silke Schoenbuchner
|Edwards Waste Management
|Comet Home Delivery
|British Retail Consortium
|Dixons Group Stores
|Michael Baker Group of Companies
|Caleb Management Services
|Sims Metal UK Ltd
|European Metal Recycling
|European Metal Recycling
|British Metals Recycling Association