I don’t often read the literature that accompanies the outlandish annual council rates sent by Newcastle City Council.
But this time I did.
I found this bizarre article contained within “Council News”. It is entitled “Changes to fridge/freezer pick up” and it goes this way:
From 1 June 2013, Council will no longer be collecting fridges and freezers as part of the bulk waste kerbside collection due to the refrigerant gases that can potentially be harmful to the environment if released in an uncontrolled manner.
The article goes on to offer five different ways for the ratepayer to dispose of the unwanted machines, all of which involve the ratepayer doing the removal, rather than Council.
How does the ratepayer removing the old fridges and freezers change the chance of the refrigerant gases escaping from these machines and being harmful to the environment? I would suggest that there would be a greater chance of the release of gases occurring when fridges and freezers moved by people using differing modes of transports from vans to trailers, and any release of gases certainly would be “uncontrolled”.
Council picking up these articles in a van or truck would have a lesser chance of gas escape when handled by professional Council officers.
I suspect the real reason for this move has little to do with the chance of refrigerant gas escape, but more to do with the costs of maintaining the service and the abrogation of their responsibilty to protect the environment.