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Councils are struggling to find storage space for hundreds of thousands of old fridges in the wake of a European Un...
Councils are struggling to find storage space for hundreds of thousands of old fridges in the wake of a European Union ban on destroying them without first removing ozone-depleting substances.

The UK has been caught out by the new rules as there are no facilities in this country capable of extracting CFCs from the fridges' insulation foam.

A spokesman for the Local Government Association said: 'The nub of the question is how quickly the UK facilities for extracting the ozone-depleting substances will be up and running.

'The LGA is aware of the difficulties the regulations are causing and will be monitoring the situation to see if further pressure needs to be put on the government.'

Most retailers and manufacturers have ceased offering a take-back service for old fridges when delivering new appliances.

Councils are obliged to accept refrigerators or freezers from households at a civic amenity site free-of-charge, and have a duty to provide a collection service for bulky household items.

About two and a half million domestic fridges and freezers are disposed of in the UK each year, with a further half million commercial units replaced annually.

Before the regulations came into effect in December up to 40% of old fridges were exported to developing countries, a trade which is now banned.

Refrigerators manufactured after 1994 generally use CFC substitutes. But with a 10 to 15 year life-cycle, most fridges now being replaced contain CFCs.

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