Letter from Rt Hon Michael Meacher, MP,
Minister for the Environment, Department of the Environment, Transport
and the Regions, to Mr Chris Davies, MEP, 26 January 2000
Thank you for your letter of 15 December about
the recovery of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from refrigerators.
At the European Union level, the recovery of
CFCs is controlled by EC Regulation 3093/94, which requires used
CFCs and other controlled ozone depleting substances to be recovered,
if practicable, for recycling or destruction. You will be pleased
to know that under the proposed new EC Regulation on ozone depleting
substances, which is expected to be in place later this year,
this requirement has been strengthened. The new EC Regulation
will make the recovery of used controlled substances from refrigeration
and air-conditioning equipment mandatory. This requirement does
not apply to domestic refrigerators and freezers until after 31
Within the UK, the Environmental Protection
Act 1990 and the Waste Management Licensing Regulations 1994 provide
a robust legislative system to regulate waste management. Anyone
who deposits, recovers or disposes of controlled waste, which
includes waste CFCs, must do so in compliance with the conditions
of a waste management licence (or within the terms of an exemption
from licensing) and in a way which does not cause harm to the
environment or human health. Moreover, persons dealing with controlled
waste are also under a duty of care to ensure that waste is managed
properly, recovered or disposed of safely and is only transferred
to someone who is authorised to receive it.
Department of Environment Circular 11/94 provides
guidance on controls over ozone depleting substances that fall
within the waste management licensing regime.
I am afraid I cannot comment on the concerns
of your constituent without knowing more details. I have, however,
asked my officials to raise this as a general issue with the Environment
Agency when they discuss the implementation of the new EC Regulation.