Waste electrical and electronic equipment recycler Environcom has said that it is now achieving a 98 per cent recycling rate for fridges, thanks to the innovative work it is doing in recycling PUR foam.
This insulation material that is found inside fridges has traditionally been incinerated or landfill, but Environcom has identified a manufacturing use for it and has installed specialist equipment to prepare the PUR foam for manufacturing. It also intends to share this knowledge with its competitors.
Envrioncom chief executive Sean Feeney said: “Many of the half a million fridges we receive every year from our retail partners and local authorities are in excellent condition for reuse, and can often easily be given a new lease of life by our teams of expert engineers. However, a percentage of them cannot, and so we have been looking at how we can exploit them for their raw materials, in order to obtain maximum value and to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
“As a result, we have been able to identify a manufacturing use for a material which until now has provided little value but presented a big environmental problem. And because we want to do the right thing, we are sharing this innovation with others in order that, as an industry, we can all achieve best practice. It’s a win-win for everyone.”