Fridges and freezers

Every year, El-Kretsen collects around 27,000 tonnes of discarded fridges and freezers. These are transported to special facilities that follow strict procedures for removing and disposing of CFCs (also known as “freon”). The median age for the fridges and freezers we collect is 15 years, but many of the units are a lot older than this. CFCs have been banned in fridges since 1995. Still, close to every other fridge we collect is so old that it still contains CFCs. To avoid unnecessary risk, all kinds of refrigeration units are processed in the same way, in a closed system where any CFCs are safely dealt with.

  1. The waste is weighed and registered on arrival.
  2. Hazardous components like oil and refrigeration circuits are removed. The coolant is extracted using a special vacuum device. This stage places a high emphasis on safety, and the extraction takes place in a sealed chamber to ensure that there is no risk of leakage.
  3. After this, the units are stripped of all loose parts and contents (such as shelves and drawers) which are then sorted according to material: glass and plastic.
  4. The materials are crushed and separated in a closed system.
  5. During the crushing process CFCs from the insulation materials may be released. The gas is extracted to a special container.