AO and TRG join to launch AO Recycling
AO has recently joined forces with The Recycling Group, establishing its new recycling branch, AO Recycling, and making it the UK’s biggest fridge recycler.
AO Recycling will recycle 700,000 fridges a year, a fifth of all the 3.5 million fridges disposed of in the UK annually, at its cutting edge new plant in Telford. TRG have now closed their plant in Powys to focus solely on this new venture with AO and the state of the art facility in Telford; AO plan to build on TRG’s knowledge and experience in this area. AO’s investment in Shropshire has created more than 200 jobs.
A Game Changing Boost for UK Recycling
Anthony Sant, Sales & Marketing Director at AO Recycling, said: “This is a game changing boost for UK recycling which has in recent years suffered from chronic under investment in new plant and machinery. Without proper investment we won’t be able to recycle all the fridges and Large Domestic Appliances which we throw away as a society. This will make a significant contribution to addressing these capacity issues.”
The plant offers end to end recycling of fridges and other Large Domestic Appliances – with all hazardous materials including oils, refrigerants and gases removed for safe disposal. The Telford site will process other large items including washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers. Appliances will arrive at Telford from customers who have purchased a new AO machine, as well as from third parties. Packaging will also be recycled at the AO Recycling site, while some appliances will be refurbished and sold on as secondhand items.
Anthony Sant added: “As a country we can’t afford to duck this issue any longer. We must act to ensure we have the capacity to safely and properly recycle the domestic appliances we no longer use. If we don’t, we will have a major waste management and environmental crisis on our hands.
“AO is determined to make sure this doesn’t happen and with this new venture we will make a major contribution to UK recycling efforts. This cutting edge new facility will be the best in the UK and boasts industry beating standards for recycling recovery rates. We have made the plant big enough to cope with the increasing numbers of large American fridges. This means we have a plant with the capacity to recycle both end of life fridges we collect from customers and fridges from third parties.
“We’ve raised the bar and set new industry standards with the construction of the new plant. Overnight we’ve become the biggest player in fridge recycling.
Plant designed and engineered by Andritz MeWa
The plant was designed, engineered and supplied by Andritz MeWa with great support from PRM. At the heart of the fridge recycling plant is the 80 tonne QZ shredding machine. It reduces fridges to their constituent metals, plastics and insulation foam using heavy duty rotating steel chains which operate inside a sealed chamber. Materials are then separated and sorted at the plant for recycling.
“This new plant means we can address the challenges of recycling more modern pentane gas fridges as well as older CFC fridges all on one site. We want to put an end to the stockpiling of fridges because we don’t have the technology or the capacity to deal with them safely and sustainably here in the UK. We want to show that Britain can be the best at this in the world – we can do it safely, efficiently and in a way which is not damaging to the environment.
“The crucial thing about the new plant is nothing is wasted – and that is because we have developed one of the most efficient processes there is. Every appliance which comes in here gets a new life: either as raw material for a brand new product or as a used item for resale.”