Gateshead’s GAP Group (NE) Limited has recycled its one millionth fridge from the region and beyond with its innovative and sustainable gold standard approach to electrical waste processing.
It operates Europe’s most advanced environmentally friendly fridge reprocessing facility is capable of recycling approximately 700,000 fridges a year with plans to expand this process through major capital investment and acquisition.
The Gateshead based company has reached its one million milestone just one year after it achieved the European WEEElabex – waste electrical and electronic equipment recycling label of excellence – accreditation, becoming one of only two sites in mainland Britain to achieve this gold standard.
Due to the plants efficiency, the Carbon savings GAP is now making each year through its environmentally efficient WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment recycling) processing and onsite savings is the equivalent to a family car driving to the sun and back or planting 240,000 trees per year.
Peter Moody said: “The achievement of reaching the recycling of our millionth fridge at our Gateshead facility so soon after the plant being commissioned is a real accomplishment, and one we are extremely proud of.
“The WEEElabex accreditation and use of the best available technology is driving up standards across the entire sector. We have additional multi-million pound investment plans that will enable us to continue to play a central role in the circular economy and in turn the environment.”
The all-gas capture recycling plant opened in Gateshead December 2019 and GAP has increased output from 500 fridges a day at the start of 2020, to 2000 a day now.
Graeme Milne is  REPICs (Recycling Electrical Producers Industry Consortium UK) Strategic Business Development Director, a not for profit collective comprised of some of the world’s most recognisable electronics producers including Hoover, Panasonic, Hitachi and JVC.
He said: “As the leading household WEEE producer compliance scheme in the UK, REPIC congratulates our strategic delivery partners GAP Group on this major milestone.  We recognise and are reliant upon the highest standards of treatment to discharge our Members’ WEEE obligations.
“The professional and dedicated team at GAP Group are a key delivery partner for reuse and treatment, via their WEEElabex certified facility.
“This major milestone for GAP Group has been achieved by the considerable efforts of all the team there; and we look forward to continuing our partnership with this WEEElabex facility as the WEEE sector develops further.  High quality recovery and recycling of resources from WEEE, as demonstrated by GAP Group, are the cornerstone of the sector’s transition to a circular economy.”
GAP has become the region’s major WEEE waste management process and recycling facility and has international and national visibility, credibility and recognition thanks to the accreditation.
The move came ahead of Government regulatory change coming into force this year which is aimed at improving the industries recycling technology and fridge gas capture.
The accreditation process captures and removes the hazardous greenhouse gases within the blown foam insulation to such a high level that the resultant material is fit to be re-purposed. Before this technology, degassed foam was burned in cement kilns, but now clean, degassed foam is used as an alternative additive to concrete – instead of lightweight sand, saving a finite and disappearing resource.
All Nitrogen used in the plant is generated onsite reducing deliveries and carbon expenditure. The ending of the region’s old fridges 200-mile journey to ageing less efficient plants has massively reduced transport miles which has in turn reduced carbon emissions as a result of the vastly reduced carbon footprint.