Local firm recycles your fridges

Local (Wolverhampton-based) firm Aquaforce recycling act as sub-contractor to our main contractor Veolia on this job, using their local teams to collect van loads of waste fridges and freezers from all our sites every week.

Fridges are considered to be hazardous waste for a variety of reasons they need to be handled with care to protect people and the planet.  Aquaforce allow us to be fully compliant by making sure all fridges are recycled in line with government guidance on what constitutes the Best Available Technology.  This means that the firm have invested in state of the art machinery & infrastructure so the whole process takes place within a sealed environment.  This insures that all harmful refrigerants and blowing agents such as CFC’s, are removed under strictly controlled conditions so they don’t escape into the atmosphere. 

A specialised unit removes all the refrigerant and the units are then pulverised to separate the metal from the plastics. Great care is taken throughout the process to make sure that polyurethane foam is screened off and then heated to release the last particles of CFC gases.  

An exciting new element in their process is the development of markets for energy recovery from non-recyclable foam which is leftover from the recycling process.  This previously had to go to landfill but due to advances in technology and local markets for energy recovery it means than value is recovered from over 99% of the fridge!  We recycle hundreds of tonnes of waste fridges and freezers every year in Shropshire, so we are making a significant contribution to the local economy, supplying scrap which is used as a raw material in the local manufacturing industry.  

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James Thompson James Thompson

Waste Prevention Officer, Waste Management, Shropshire Council

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