Charges for disposing of a fridge or freezer at the Island’s civic amenity sites are set to increase with effect from Thursday 1 December.
A revised fees structure is being introduced as a result of recent changes in the UK that have led to a sharp rise in reprocessing costs.
Fridges and freezers are classified as hazardous electronic waste and specialist equipment is needed to remove the ozone depleting gases they contain.
Units cannot be dealt with in the Isle of Man and instead are collected by a local company which operates the contract to recycle televisions, computer monitors and fridges/freezers from the four civic amenity sites.
While the other electrical items can be recycled locally, fridge/freezers have to be transported to a specialist facility in the UK for degassing and shredding.
Until this year operators of recycling plants in the UK paid a fee for each unit delivered. The disposal charges that applied at the Island’s civic amenity sites reflected the costs of haulage and export licences. The Department of Infrastructure was able to cap the fees thanks to efficiencies achieved through the central contract.
However, the situation has changed during 2016, with a number of key reprocessing facilities in England closing down as they could not meet new UK operating standards.
This has led to a significant reduction in the UK’s fridge/freezer reprocessing capacity and a chronic shortage of temporary storage space. These difficulties have been made worse by the global slump in the value of scrap metal.
As a result, the operators of the UK reprocessing facilities have now started to charge for each unit they accept rather than paying a fee. The increased charges are outside the control of the Department and the Isle of Man contractor.
From 1 December 2016 the following charges will apply at all civic amenity sites:
Under-counter fridge up to 50kg - £15
Chest fridge/freezer up to 100kg - £25
American-style fridge 150kg+ - £50