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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2003 Week 10 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3795..


Waste disposal-refrigerators

(Question No 885)

Mr Cornwell asked the Minister for Urban Services, upon notice:

In relation to disposal of refrigerators at tip sites:

(1) In recent times there has been quite a large number of fridges and freezers located at the Waste Transfer Station at Mitchell. What is the correct process that should be followed by tip workers when disposing of fridges and freezers dumped at tip sites;

(2) Whose responsibility is it to de-gas fridges and freezers at tip sites;

(3) Is degassing carried out before fridges and freezers are disposed of or destroyed on the tip site, if not, why not;

(4) Have there been any cases where a fridge or freezer has not been degassed before it is disposed of or destroyed on the tip site;

(5) Is there any evidence to show that any R12 (ozone depleting substance) has been released into the atmosphere due to the failure to degas fridges or freezers at tip sites before they are destroyed.

Mr Wood

: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Fridges and freezers are directed to the metal recycling area.

(2) Domestic fridges and freezers are generally discarded due to the fact that the refrigeration unit has ceased to function, usually due to the loss of the gases. For this reason, discarded domestic fridges and freezers are exempt from the requirements of the Environment Protection Act 1997 regulating release of ozone depleting substances Regulation. However, it is recommended by Environment ACT that the persons disposing of fridges and freezers have an authorised refrigeration mechanic drain any refrigerant before disposal or destruction.

(3) Degassing is not carried out at the tip site. This is because fridges and freezers are directed to the metal recycling area. In addition discarded domestic fridges and freezers are exempt from the requirements of the Environment Protection Act 1997 regulating release of ozone depleting substances. Where degassing is required, it is the responsibility of the persons disposing of the equipment to have an authorised refrigeration mechanic drain any refrigerant before disposal or destruction.

(4) The overwhelming majority of fridges and freezers are not disposed of at ACT Landfills. Most fridges and freezers are recycled through the metal recycling industry.

(5) The overwhelming majority of fridges and freezers are not disposed of at ACT Landfills. Most fridges and freezers are recycled through the metal recycling industry.


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