The Plant


AO Recycling Shropshire opened in spring 2017 and is our first fridge and LDA (Large Domestic Appliance) facility in the UK. The site will recycle more than 700,000 fridges a year – or one fifth of the appliances currently thrown away annually in the UK. At the plant’s heart is an 80-tonne shredding machine built by Austrian company, Andritz. Contained within a sealed chamber, the machine uses huge rotating steel chains which can smash up more than 100 fridges an hour.

Engineers first remove oils and refrigerants from the old machines for safe disposal. Dangerous gases are also safely removed during the process – including CFC gases in older fridges and pentane gases in more modern fridges. Ferrous and non-ferrous metals, plastics and insulation foam then get separated and sorted at the plant. These are sold on as raw materials for new products.

The site also brings in packaging, including cardboard, from AO customers’ who have bought a new appliance. This is also recycled at Telford. The site is among the cleanest, safest and most environmentally friendly recycling facilities in the UK. It is an Environment Agency Approved Authorised Treatment Facility and conforms to the ISO 14001 and ISO 9001 European standards measuring the management of quality and environmental impact.

The Facts


Fact 1

More than 260,000* tonnes of fridges were sold in the UK in 2016 – that works out between 4.8 million and 5.5 million fridges

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Fact 2

More than 3.5 million old fridges are thrown away in the UK every year – and the number is growing.

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Fact 3

At times, here in the UK, we don’t have the capacity to recycle all these fridges responsibly and correctly.

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Fact 4

AO Recycling’s new Telford plant will recycle more than 700,000 fridges a year – around 20% of the UK total.

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Fact 5

The plant is the most efficient and advanced in the UK – it sets a new standard in recovering the metals, plastics and gases out of the old fridges.

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Fact 6

It took 50 lorry loads to build the new recycling plant, 22km of cable runs through the plant and it took 2.5 man years to build.

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*Environment Agency – based on Cooling Appliances Containing Refrigerants: 225,032.224 (household EEE tonnes) 35,914.220 (non-household EEE tonnes)( Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EEE) placed on the UK market. Period covered: January – December 2016)

Why we care

Wherever possible, machines are repaired and refurbished for resale. Nothing is wasted. Safe, responsible, sustainable – it’s what we do.

Our WEEE Services

AO Recycling was set up to carry out the large scale recycling of fridges and domestic appliances such as washing machines, tumble driers and dishwashers, sometimes known as WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment).