Merton put a freeze on spending

Merton’s fridge mountain has been cleared from Garth Road Amenity Site at a saving of thousands of pounds.

EU legislation introduced at the beginning of the year meant local authorities had to have the chemical coolants (CFC’s) that destroy the ozone layer removed from the cooling circuits and insulation of old fridges. The cost of this process was so high that the Council made the decision to stockpile the used fridges at Garth Road until the prices dropped.

Most electrical goods suppliers stopped taking ‘fridges away when the legislation came into force. This resulted in a significant increase in the number of households wanting the Council to dispose of their old refrigerators.

The decision to stockpile used fridges has meant the price to remove the ozone depleting substances and recycle the fridges has now dropped to a third of its original value – saving thousands of pounds. The council had stockpiled over 4000 fridges at Garth Road and has sent in excess of 3000 to be recycled, so far this year. This will add around 400 tonnes to the waste recycled by Merton.

The council recently hired a contractor to ship about 300 fridges per day from Garth Road a much lower cost than would have been the case at the start of the year. All the current stock of fridges has now been removed. Up to 400 fridges will then be stored each week before being transferred to a recycling plant.

Councillor Linda Kirby, Merton Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Quality, said: “This great example of waste management that has enabled Merton to save thousands of pounds. While I fully back the reasons for the legislation being introduced for the recycling of fridges, it is an expensive process. Stockpiling the fridges enabled the Council to wait until the prices lowered so we could get best value for residents.”

Residents should take used fridges and freezers to the Civic Amenity site at Garth Road. Fridges and freezers brought in a car can be disposed free of charge, other vehicles may be subject to a charge. Residents using the Garth Road Civic Amenity site should always bring proof of their name and address with them. Residents may be asked for their identification prior to entering the site.

Alternatively used fridges and freezers can be collected from the front of residents’ properties at a charge of £10 per item. Please call 020 8545 4157 to book an appointment.