Online electricals retailer AO is to build a second fridge recycling plant after its Telford facility reached capacity with long-term contracts for appliances.
It opened the Telford site last year, which is expected to recycle 700,000 fridges in its first 12 months of work out of some 3.5 million discarded annually.
The second plant will be sited in the south-east and is due to open in 2019. It will give AO the capacity to recycle some 40% of all fridges collected.
Chief executive Steve Caunce said: “We know that investing in another plant will mean we will be in a unique position to be able to give our customers the confidence that their fridges are always dealt with safely, efficiently and responsibly.”
AO’s Telford recycling facility (pictured) is centred on a 40-tonne shredding machine, and created 200 jobs.
Its recycling director Anthony Sant said the company wanted to promote the use of retailer take-back and had lobbied the Government over this.
Sant said: “We are now trying to build a consensus among retailers, manufacturers, recyclers and policy-makers for a WEEE recycling system based on the principle of retailer take-back for large items.
“The UK has a bold target for collection of WEEE by 2019. To achieve this target, progress has to be made industry-wide and will only be possible with changes to the way WEEE collections are funded, and the creation of a robust logistics network to support widespread home collections.”