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Thursday, 19 September, 2002, 14:07 GMT 15:07 UK
'Fridge mountain' scaled by shredder
Fridge regeneration plan
The plant can recycle a fridge every minute
A new multi-million pound recycling plant in north London may be part of the solution to the growing problem of dumped fridges.

The plant can crush 400,000 fridges a year as well as remove the dangerous gases which harm the ozone layer.

The EU fridge law
Came into effect on 1 January
CFCs in fridge linings must be extracted and destroyed
The rest of the fridge must then be recycled
About 2.5m fridges thrown out every year
Under European Union legislation which came into effect on 1 January, unwanted fridges and freezers must be destroyed in an environmentally friendly way.

The shredder, operated by European Metal Recycling (EMR) in Willesden, is the only one of its kind in England.

The new rules are aimed at protecting the earth's ozone layer from the chlorofluorocarbon gases (CFCs) contained in fridges and freezers.

The 2.5m plant is a totally closed environment allowing no ozone-harming gases to escape.

Londoners throw out about 300,000 old fridges a year.

If they were just crushed, CFCs would escape into the atmosphere.

Graham Towers of EMR told BBC London: "Most of the CFC in fridges is found in the foam and this is what this plant is about.

Recycled

"The fridge is shredded into its various components and we separate out the foam from the plastic and the metal."

The metal component of the fridge is compressed and sent back to the steel furnaces for recycling.

The CFC gas is recovered from the foam, incinerated and condensed again into a liquid.

The plant, which will operate 24 hours a day, opens for business later in September.


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See also:

01 Jul 02 | Wales
20 Jun 02 | Politics
20 Jun 02 | Politics
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