It’s not uncommon to see fridges abandoned in front gardens, in the corner of the office car park, or fly tipped on the banking of Britain’s roads, but when it comes to fridge and freezer disposal what should you do about disposing of yours safely?
As the Environment Agency classifies fridge freezers as hazardous waste this means that they can’t just be thrown out in a skip or sent off with the bin men. This is due to Chlorofluorocarbon gasses (CFCs), pentane and other chemicals contained within the cooling systems and insulation of modern day fridges. Although most of these chemicals are not directly harmful to humans, they react with the upper stratosphere and deplete the ozone layer, a contributor to global warming.
Thank fully It’s usually not too difficult to dispose of these items.
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Disposal of fridges and freezers differ depending on whether you are a business and commercial producer or a domestic producer.
Businesses or Commercial
The UK’s Environment Agency considers the Fridge or Freezer to be business waste if it comes from any of the following:
- any commercial activity – including any you run from your home
Often the fastest and most cost effective way to dispose of fridges or freezers from a business, is to use a licenced waste removal business. Companies such as Feedback Local provide quick, simple and affordable solutions to disposal of fridges and freezers. These services cover the cost of collection and safe disposal. If you choose to use one of these services, make sure to check that they are fully licenced to carry your waste. Please be aware that it is unlikely that Local Councils will collect commercial waste, however some do offer a paid for commercial waste service.
There is an array of options for domestic households. The most commonly used method of disposal is the local council. The majority of councils throughout UK will collect fridges and freezers from domestic premises for a fee. Scheduled collections can usually be viewed and booked online. Some councils may not offer collection services but instead provide civic amenity sites where fridge freezers may be disposed of, however this requires the private house hold to arrange transportation.
Alternatively if the disposal of the item is as a result of purchasing a new fridge or freezer, it is becoming increasingly common that the company that sold the item will offer collection of the old fridge/freezer. Domestic households also have the option to use waste disposal services similar to commercial premises. This may be used to book an appointment to fit into hectic work schedules.
Dos and Don’ts
- Do – Always check their waste carriers licence
- When disposing of any hazardous waste such as fridges and freezers, it is a legal requirement for the carrier to have a copy of their waste carriers licence with them. Ask to see theirs for peace of mind.
- Don’t – Don’t use an unlicensed waste carrier.
- The man you met down the pub who’ll take your rubbish away in his van for a tenner and another pint, probably isn’t licenced to do so. If the waste ends up being fly tipped you could face up a fine of up to £50,000.
- Don’t – Fly tip your waste
- Not only could you receive a £50,000 fine for fly tipping, it also damages delicate ecosystems and creates hazards on Britain’s road and pathways.
- Do – Keep your copy of the ‘duty of care’
- If you’re a business looking to dispose of waste, you will receive a duty of care when the item is collected. This will show where the waste came from, and where it will be disposed of. You will need to keep this document to prove that the item was disposed of legally.
For more information on this topic, check the government website at gov.uk