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AO Recycling

About AO Recycling

AO Recycling is one of the UK’s biggest recyclers of fridges and other Large Domestic Appliances (LDAs). We make would-be waste great again, by turning these old fridges, washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers into valuable resources.

Appliances that have reached the end of their life are given the full AO Recycling treatment – they’re broken apart and sorted into their constituent metals, plastics and insulation foam at our state-of-the-art plant in Shropshire.

AO Recycling Shropshire opened in spring 2017 and is our first fridge and LDA (Large Domestic Appliance) facility in the UK. We recycle more than 700,000 fridges a year – that’s one fifth of the appliances currently thrown away annually in the UK. Our 80-tonne shredding 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.


Our plastics plant allows us to sort, separate and clean different types of plastic we collect so that it can be reused more easily.
The colour sorter system we use was industry leading in the food industry and is often used for sorting peanuts, corn and other food because of its high accuracy.

Each week we process 200 tonnes of fridge plastic – the weight of 33 elephants – and since opening in late 2019, we’ve processed the equivalent weight of 54 Airbus A380s (30,000 tonnes)

The plastics plant running at full capacity could produce enough plastic to make 2.5 million fridges every year – if you laid these end to end, they would stretch from Telford to the North Pole!