Techrec NI is an NIEA Permitted facility and is the only authorised waste refrigeration recycling facility on the Island of Ireland. The company first operated from 2002 at the original site in Dungannon Co Tyrone, but has commissioned a new state of the art Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) facility at Toomebridge in Co Antrim during 2016.
Waste handled at the facility includes domestic fridge freezers and commercial refrigeration such as drinks coolers, chillers, chest freezers, catering equipment, cold room’s panels, air conditioning units and all other refrigerated equipment.
The new facility has the capacity to process up to 20,000 tons of e-scrap per annum and has been supplied by Erdwich, Germany. The plant has also been designed as a combi-plant allowing a ‘mode B’ to process other categories of WEEE to include small domestic appliances (SDA) and white goods.
Techrec has processed all of the domestic fridges that have arisen within the local authorities of Northern Ireland over the past 9 years and many of the domestic fridges that have arisen with the Republic of Ireland for various WEEE compliance schemes. The company also holds commercial contracts with many of the large food and drinks companies and refrigeration engineers who are WEEE waste producers.
Techrec NI operates our own fleet of vehicles and are authorised waste carriers. For fridges originating within the Republic of Ireland we operate a transfer station from Greenogue Industrial Estate where full loads can be transfrontier shipment notified to the relevant authorities. We offer a fully compliant service with destruction certificates issued on the treatment of all WEEE waste.
WEEE is offloaded for pre-treatment, (non refrigeration units), and this will comprise of some manual component removal followed by a 2 shaft shredder and a picking line.
Refrigeration units are placed on roller conveyors at the entrance to the de-gassing area. They are then placed onto a tilting conveyor before being manipulated until a suitable extraction point (usually the compressor fill pipe) is at the lowest point where the oil and gas are extracted from the compressor.
The pretreated units are transported via a conveyor belt through a sluice with a double door system. The sluice works as an air locked entry gate for refrigerators. After passing through the airlocks, fridges are loaded into a two shaft shredder where the units are pre-shredded. The material then enters a hammer mill which reduces its size to circa. 50mm fragments and the PUR foam is separated from the other materials.
Foam and plastics are separated using a ZZ separator and the foam is then processed through a shredder, autoclaves in series, and press to produce briquettes, releasing the CFCs and other gases from the foam. The entire plant is operated under negative pressure with nitrogen used throughout the process to reduce oxygen content to prevent any fires or explosion. Gases released during the process are diverted to the solvent recovery unit (Activated Carbon) where they are captured.
The recovered material outputs from the process include: Ferrous metals, Non-ferrous metals, Plastics, Gas, Cables, Glass, Oil, Compressors and Foam briquettes.
Waste refrigeration equipment falls under three main regulations in the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulations, The Hazardous Waste Regulations and the WEEE regulations.
More recently the WEEELABEX (WEEE LABel of Excellence) has been introduced to outline best practice for the collection, transport, sorting, storage, preparation for reuse, treatment, recycling and disposal of WEEE. While the standard has not yet been transposed into UK law, the updated WEEE Regulations for the Republic of Ireland were issued in 2014 and requested that all WEEE shall be treated “In accordance with the WEEELABEX normative requirements”. The standard is being further developed by CENELEC, the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardisation, to become a European Standard EN 50625-01. Our Toomebridge facility achieved full compliance in August 2017.