Online electricals retailer, AO today celebrated the recycling of its millionth fridge, at its state-of the-art fridge recycling facility in Telford.
With the majority of these fridges being collected from AO customer homes, when they have a new appliance delivered, the huge number, which if lined up would equate to the same distance from London to Iceland (over 1,000 miles), is a huge step forward in helping to increase the number of fridges being correctly recycled in the UK.
The important milestone was marked at an event held at AO’s Telford fridge recycling plant on Thursday. The Council’s Cabinet Member for Borough Economy, Cllr Lee Carter, was invited to press the button to officially recycle the millionth fridge since opening the plant last year, which then made its way through AO’s state-of-the-art fridge recycling machine.
The 80-tonne shredding machine, built specially for AO, smashes fridges down to their constituent metals, plastics and insulation foam using heavy duty rotating steel chains which operate inside a sealed chamber. Materials are then separated and sorted, the whole process taking only eight minutes.
Cllr Carter said: “As a borough we need to do all we can to help reduce our impact on the environment. There’s lots we as a council are planning to do and we need the whole community to join together with us.
“It’s fabulous to see a major national business based here in Telford leading the way in recycling and we’re delighted that AO are looking to do even more. We hope that together we can encourage many more business and residents to do even more to make the borough, its communities and businesses a more sustainable place.”
Cllr Carter was joined by other members of Telford & Wrekin Council. They not only celebrated this milestone during a tour of the facility by AO Recycling MD Rob Sant but were also given the opportunity to have a sneak peek of AO’s new plastics recycling plant which the business announced it would be opening nearby last month.
The new four-acre site, due to open in the Autumn, will give AO the ability to clean and refine the plastic it collects from its main fridge recycling facility to a higher standard, meaning it can be processed for further reuse. The new site is another step for the retailer in its plans to support DEFRA and the UK in increasing collections of waste fridges to achieve the national WEEE collection target, outlined in the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy.
“We’re thrilled to have reached this huge number here at AO Recycling,” said AO Recycling’s MD Robert Sant. “It’s an amazing achievement by the full team. We are really proud of the facility we have built here in Telford, especially because of the positive affect it has had on the UK’s fridge recycling problem. It’s so important that these products are dealt with properly, to ensure that the gases and oils inside don’t leak into our environment so the fact that we’ve ensured that a million of them have ended up being processed efficiently and properly is great to see.”