Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS) Legislation

The 1st January 2002 saw the introduction of new European Regulations governing the release of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS). EC Regulation no. 2037/2000 of 29th June 2001 requires that from 1 January 2002, all CFCs and HCFCs must be recovered from equipment such as fridges and freezers prior to their disposal. CFCs and HCFC are contained both within the refrigeration circuits of fridges and freezers an within the foam insulation. Generally, this applies to equipment manufactured prior to 1995 as more recent equipment will have been manufactured without the use of CFCs or HCFCs.

What does this mean for you?

This could impact on you in two ways:

As a householder, you may purchase a new fridge in the expectation that the retailer will take away the old one. For a time, all retailers stopped such ‘take back’ schemes but the advent of the WEEE regulations and the steady development of reprocessing facilities for fridges and freezers has resulted in many schemes being reinstated. If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of having to dispose of a fridge or freezer, from your domestic property, yourself, the most likely disposal option will be via your local Council. This can be achieved either by arranging a collection – often at cost – or taking the fridge to a local Civic Amenity Site where they should be accepted without charge.

As a business, you might require to dispose of refrigeration equipment as part of a clearout or because a unit has broken or become unserviceable. Such equipment, if containing CFCs or HCFCs will be hazardous waste and should not be mixed with non-hazardous waste. Additionally, under the ODS regulations, it is illegal to dispose of such items to scrap or to landfill. Fridges, freezers and commercial refrigeration equipment will therefore not be removed by Biffa unless separately contained and, in order to allow time for compliant disposal arrangements to be made, through prior agreement. Further information can be found at the following website(s):

  • Transform - The WEEE Compliance Scheme operated by Biffa