Posted: Thu 10th Feb 2022

Flintshire residents using council service to get rid of fridges urged to clean them first

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Feb 10th, 2022

Residents in Flintshire who use a council collection service to get rid of their fridges are being urged to clean them first.

It follows a string of incidents where recycling centre staff have been forced to remove rotting food from white goods.

Flintshire Council currently offers to collect fridges and freezers free of charge as part of a partnership with local social enterprise Refurbs Flintshire.

The service is provided to ensure appliances containing substances which could be harmful to the environment are disposed of properly.

However, a senior local authority official said in some cases workers have had to wear protective clothing to clean out fridges due to them being left in a dirty condition.

Speaking at a meeting of councillors earlier this week, Katie Wilby, the council’s chief officer for streetscene and transportation, said: “You wouldn’t believe it but it’s horrendous actually. If people have had a power cut and lost the contents of the fridge, they not only dispose of the fridge, but they dispose of the contents as well.

“Somebody at our household recycling site then has the grim task of having to empty it.

“I’ve seen some sights and by then the food has decomposed, so it’s not a pleasant job.

“They actually joke down on the sites about the white suits they have to wear to empty it and the masks.

“If you do hear about people putting fridges or freezers out for collection, please ask them to empty it first.”

The reports drew an astonished reaction from the chair of the council’s environment and economy scrutiny committee at Tuesday’s (February 8, 2022) meeting.

Cllr Rosetta Dolphin said: “You made me smile when you’ve put that you ask people to empty their fridge or freezer as you would think that would be automatic.

“I must be a strange person because I clean mine first.”

Under the council’s agreement with Refurbs Flintshire, large items which are suitable to be reused are collected and sold at the charity’s premises on Aber Park in Flint.

Although there is no charge for collecting fridges and freezers, for other items residents are required to pay £40 to have up to five objects taken away.

There is a further charge of £5 for any additional items with a discount offered to people in receipt of benefits.

All the money raised through the sale of bulky items is reinvested into the not-for-profit organisation to prevent furniture and other large objects being dumped at landfill sites.

In a report to the committee, Ms Wilby added: “The data shows that the service is well utilised and Flintshire residents make use of a service where reuse or repair is the priority over disposal.

“It is also welcomed that this service is used as an alternative to the smaller ‘man in van’ type disposal companies advertising on social media that may not have the correct licences to collect and dispose of waste legally.”

Residents who want to book to have large items collected can call the council’s streetscene contact centre on 01352 701234.

Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

(Photo: flickr.com/Marco Verch)

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