• AO.com has launched a £20 ‘Collect and Recycle service’ to give people certainty about where their unwanted electricals end up
  • Using freedom of information requests, AO.com found that there were 46,927 cases of white goods being fly tipped in the UK
  • Leeds came out on top of 326 local authorities with 1,688 cases

New findings from AO.com have revealed that a staggering 46,927 cases of white goods were fly tipped in the UK in 2018 – with Leeds topping the UK leader board with more than 1,688 cases alone.

Determined to give customers a simple, trustworthy solution to disposing of electrical items that could damage the environment, AO.com has launched a £20 ‘Collect and Recycle’ service, which allows people to recycle their old appliances safely and responsibly.

AO.com will collect any appliance*, including fridges, tumble dryers and dishwashers at a time chosen by the customer through its website. What’s more, the online retailer will collect any appliance, even if it wasn’t purchased from AO.com. [1]

While most local councils offer a paid service to collect white goods, residents are often asked to leave items outside for collection, resulting in opportunistic scrap metal collectors thriving on these chances and leaving the public unaware of where their appliances will end up and if they’re dealt with in a responsible and safe manner.

The worrying statistics about fly-tipped white good are unsurprising because the data also revealed 25% of the Brits surveyed didn’t know a fridge could be recycled.  If not recycled properly, harmful gases from fridges could be released into the air which may contribute to climate change.

Leeds wasn’t the only North West region affected too, Manchester (1,556), Liverpool (1,418) and Bradford (1,336) were also in the top four.  While, in London, 9,229 cases were recorded, but with 1,034 cases alone, Haringey came out as the most affected local authority, with Croydon (895) and Ealing (779) not far behind.

Every item collected by AO.com is taken to its state-of-the-art recycling plant in Telford, Shropshire, where the appliance is either refurbished or recycled into raw materials with harmful gases removed safely during the process.  So far this year, more than 350,000 fridges have been recycled by Bertha, an 80-tonne shredding machine, which can shred 100 fridges an hour – meaning no fridge, tumble dryer or microwave needs to be fly tipped.

Anthony Sant at AO Recycling said:

“Five years ago, there were only 14,000 cases of white goods being fly tipped so this has increased by 250%.  We’re dedicated to putting an end to this.  Customers deserve peace of mind when disposing of white goods and that’s where AO comes in.

“Appliances that have reached the end of their life are given the full AO Recycling treatment – they’re broken apart and sorted into their constituent metals, plastics and harmful gases.

“For £20, we will take your old appliance away and recycle it responsibly, saving a big cost to the environment.”

Allison Ogden-Newton, Chief Executive of environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy, which campaigns to reduce fly-tipping, said:

“We would like to congratulate AO.com on this fantastic initiative.

“Our research shows us that making it easy and affordable for people to do the right thing is one of the ways to tackle the epidemic of fly tipping in this country and this new service does just that, at the same time as ensuring that all the valuable resources contained in white goods are recycled.”

Out of 326 local authorities, only two reported 0 cases of white goods being fly tipped, Copeland, in the North West and the Isle of Scilly.

For more info about AO.com and its Collect and Recycle service, please visit ao.com/help-and-advice/help-with-my-order/collect-and-recycle