Major appliance purchases can make a huge dent in a business’ monthly budget and so no-one is pleased when a commercial fridge breaks down and needs to be replaced. Refrigeration is essential for food safety and to prevent spoilage. A catering business simply cannot operate without adequate temperature control.
Fridges that last for many years are good for business and are good for the environment. Getting rid of a broken fridge, especially older models, can present a hazard to the environment and needs to be carried out responsibly. There are ways to dispose of an old fridge that minimise the damage to the environment.
Why are Fridges Such an Environmental Hazard?
Fridges operate by circulating refrigerant fluids around the compartment where food is stored. This has the effect of dropping the temperature. According to the UK government, most refrigerant fluids were hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which can damage the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere. HCFCs have been banned in new fridges since 2001 but are still found in old fridges. Disposing of old fridges irresponsibly can liberate HCFCs into the environment.
If you order a new fridge from a supplier of solid door refrigeration such as https://www.fridgefreezerdirect.co.uk/solid-door-refrigeration, you will need to ensure that your old refrigeration equipment is disposed of safely.
Disposing of Your Old Fridge Safely
As you are the owner of the fridge it is your responsibility to ensure that it is disposed of correctly. The fridge is classed as ‘hazardous waste’ and you will not get this service for free, so expect to pay a fee. If you use a reputable waste disposal firm you will fulfil your obligations under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This legislation requires you to fulfil your duties in relation to the disposal of business waste.
EC regulation 2037/2000 “Removal of ODS” is also a useful guide for you. It explains how all refrigeration units that operate using HCFCs need to have these chemicals removed in the correct way before they are scrapped.
It is your duty to check that the waste removal operator that takes your old fridge away is licenced and registered with the Environment Agency. Make sure that you get a copy of the Waste Transfer Note. You can get a list of registered waste companies from your local authority.