The Manx government is going to charge more for people to dispose of fridges and freezers.
The change comes into effect from tomorrow (Thursday).
But the decision is bound to lead to criticism and fears that it could lead to more fly-tipping.
The revised fees structure is being introduced as a result of recent changes in the UK that have led to a sharp rise in reprocessing costs.
Fridges and freezers are classified as ‘hazardous electronic waste’ and specialist equipment is needed to remove the ozone-depleting gases they contain.
They cannot be dealt with in the Isle of Man and instead are collected by a local company which operates the contract to recycle televisions, computer monitors and fridges/freezers from the four civic amenity sites.
While the other electrical items can be recycled locally, fridge/freezers have to be transported to a specialist facility in the UK for degassing and shredding.
Until this year operators of recycling plants in the UK paid a fee for each unit delivered.
The disposal charges that applied at the island’s civic amenity sites reflected the costs of haulage and export licences.
The Department of Infrastructure was able to cap the fees thanks to efficiencies achieved through the central contract.
However, the situation has changed during 2016, with a number of key reprocessing facilities in England closing down as they could not meet new UK operating standards.
This has led to a significant reduction in the UK’s fridge/freezer reprocessing capacity and a chronic shortage of temporary storage space.
The department says that these difficulties have been made worse by the global slump in the value of scrap metal.
As a result, the operators of the UK reprocessing facilities have now started to charge for each unit they accept rather than paying a fee. The increased charges are outside the control of the Department and the Isle of Man contractor.
From tomorrow the following charges will apply at all civic amenity sites:
Under-counter fridge up to 50kg - £15
Chest fridge/freezer up to 100kg - £25
American-style fridge 150kg+ - £50