New threat of fly-tipping across the North West

New threat of fly-tipping across the North West
22/01/02

Sir Robert Atkins: new threat of fridge fly-tipping across North West The North West could be facing a new menace of fly-tipped fridges, warned Sir Robert Atkins, MEP for the North West. New EU regulations have just come into effect on the disposal of refrigerators, increasing the costs of disposal. There are currently no facilities across the UK to dispose of fridges in the new required manner, but the Government has imposed extra costs on councils that could run to £100 million a year, Sir Robert remarked.

"The North West faces a new fly-tipping threat. New EU regulations signed by the Government without fully understanding its implications, have landed firms and local councils across the area with an expensive headache."

"The money handed to councils to collect and store old fridges will not cover their new costs. The Government has given £6 million for all of England - but the extra costs for some councils will be as high as £1.6 million per council alone. With three million fridges disposed of each year, at an average cost of around £40 per fridge, the public is facing an annual bill of well over £100 million. Surely this money could be better spent elsewhere."

"We already see how the high costs of disposing of old vehicles can lead to the menace of dumped cars. Now residents face either more fly-tipping or a hit in their wallet to pay for collection and disposal. This is a serious concern. As well as being unsightly and environmentally unsafe, dumped fridges pose a danger to the public, particularly children, and this is all caused by Labour's incompetence." End

Note to Editors:

From 1st January 2002, new EU regulations came into effect on the disposal of fridges. One of the new requirements is that CFC's in foams in fridge sand freezers must be recovered and treated. There are at present no facilities capable of doing this in the UK. Most major retailers (e.g. Dixons) have now stopped the collection of end of life white goods due to the new costs. This will cause a major burden for waste disposal local authorities and trouble for the environment because of the likely increase of fly tipping. The UK disposes of 2.5 - 3 million fridges a year, with the largest proportion of fridges sold in January.

The Government have announced £6 million until the end of March to help English councils with extra storage costs, yet none of this is payable until the next financial year. Even then, this funding is insufficient to cover the costs. For example, Essex County Council are expecting the storage and disposal costs to be £1.68 million per year. Yet they expect their share of the government's funding to be £50,000. Cambridgeshire County Council estimate their costs will be £1 million, with centre support of just £50,000.

The costs may end up being passed on to all local residents via higher council tax bills.

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