ODS (Fridges)

Are you affected?

If you dispose of a fridge or freezer, it is likely they will be governed by the ODS Regulations which will mean that it is illegal to dispose of them in a way that will release CFCs into the atmosphere. You must dispose of it without the doors or carcass being damaged and it must go to a licensed fridge treatment facility. It will also generally be classed as Hazardous Waste and must therefore be disposed of using consignment notes. It is also illegal to place Ozone Depleting Substances onto the EU market.


The Ozone Depleting Sustances Regulations were introduced into the UK in 2000 for industrial equipment and from 1 Jan 2002 for household fridges and freezers. The majority of CFCs and HCFCs are contained in the foam insulation of a fridge or freezer and equipment containing these substances must therefore be disposed of through a process that recovers them. There are at least 10 such plants in the UK. The use of CFCs and HCFCs was phased out in 1994 and modern fridges contain a substitute called pentane. Although not classed as and ODS, the government are considereing whether pentane fridges should also be required to be disposed of through the fridge plants.

If you have a fridge to dispose of, you must ensure that it is collected as hazardous waste, that its sides and door or not pierced and that it goes to an approved plant for treatment.

Further information