EMR officially opens state-of-the-art fridge recycling plant

  • Defra's Deputy Director for Resource and Waste Directorate, Chris Preston officially opens EMR's brand-new facility in Darlaston, Walsall
  • The 'next generation' facility meets and exceeds the increased requirements placed on fridge recyclers in the UK

Chris Preston cutting the ribbon

Global leader in sustainable materials, EMR, has officially opened its brand-new fridge recycling plant at EMR Darlaston, Walsall.  

EMR, the UK’s largest fridge recycler, has built the state-of-the-art facility using the latest technology and innovative processes, including robotic separation systems, creating a new standard for fridge recycling.

Chris Preston, Deputy Director for Resource and Waste Directorate at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) officially opened the new site and was given a guided tour of the facility, which will recycle fridges from producer compliance schemes. 

The multi-million-pound recycling facility, located on the outskirts of Walsall, replaces a nearby EMR Darlaston fridge recycling facility and will double the site’s capacity to recycle thousands of fridges each day. 

The investment also safeguards jobs in the green economy for Walsall, which – alongside EMR’s Willesden fridge recycling facility in North London – will provide fridge recycling services throughout the UK. 

EMR’s 70 years of recycling expertise ensures even more materials, including steel, copper and plastics, from end-of-life fridges re-enter the circular economy for use in tomorrow’s products, saving unnecessary carbon from being released and protecting the Earth’s precious resources. 

As the number of fridges that use banned CFCs as a coolant continues to decline, the new facility will only recycle fridges containing pentane. Advanced robotic separation processes will identify the fridges containing CFCs, which will then be safely and responsibly recycled at EMR’s fridge recycling facility in Willesden. 

Chris Sheppard, Chief Executive at EMR, said: “We’re delighted to be opening our new state-of-the-art fridge recycling plant that enables us to recycle more fridges than ever before.  

“At EMR we strive to operate above and beyond industry standards, and this new recycling plant ensures we can continue to do just that. It’s a critical piece of infrastructure that will provide much-needed recycling capabilities for producer compliance schemes, local authorities and manufacturers in the UK, whilst ensuring more precious materials enter back into the circular economy.  

“This facility is a symbol of innovation, our commitment to the environment, and a brighter, greener future.” 

Chris Preston, Deputy Director for the Resources and Waste Directorate at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), said: “It was a pleasure to be invited to open EMR’s state-of-the-art facility and to see this investment in the UK’s recycling infrastructure. Recycling facilities like this have an essential part to play as the government moves ahead with its proposals for reforming the waste electricals regulations.” 

EMR has a long track record of investing in innovative technology, world-class research, and dedicated teams of recycling experts. Since 2021, EMR has invested millions into its West Midlands operations, including:

  • The development of its advanced separation facility in Oldbury, ensuring even more material re-enters the circular economy - materials that, without our intervention, would go to landfill
  • The creation of a unique circular supply chain for post-industrial plastics at a new Duddeston facility, near Birmingham
  • The introduction of all-electric cranes and forklift trucks And utilising rail links near its sites – reducing the company’s reliance on road transport