Buller District Council

Free refrigerator disposal available in Westport

22nd February, 2021

Buller District Council, Electro Services Ltd and Smart Environmental Ltd have signed an agreement to offer a free refrigerator disposal service for Buller residents. The agreement will enable residents to safely dispose of refrigerators at the Westport Transfer Station without charge.

The initiative is the result of a resident contacting council to explore options for the safe disposal of old fridges.

Refrigerators hold coolant gases that pose a risk to the environment, humans and animals.  Refrigerators collected for recycling in New Zealand need to have gas removed before they can be processed. This degassing is usually done at council facilities or by dealers who take back refrigerators from their customers.

In Buller residents had to pay $92 for labour plus $9 degassing fee at the Westport Transfer Station for this service.

Frida Inta’ s request triggered Electro Services Limited, Buller District Council and Smart Environmental collaborating on a free degassing service in Buller.  “It was great to work together on creating a free fridge disposal service in Buller. We were all for it” operations supervisor, Smart Environmental Ltd Alan Corbett explains.

Council will supply a rain proof shelter at Westport Transfer station where the fridges can be stored and degassed. Electro Services Ltd will provide staff who will safely degas the fridges when enough fridges are collected. Smart Environmental Ltd will cover the $9 charge fee for disposal.

From Monday Buller residents can dispose safely their fridges free of charge at the Westport Transfer Station. Residents can drop off their old fridge during opening hours.

The initiative will run for a year and then the initiative and the project outcomes will be reviewed.

Business manager, Electro Services Ltd Darren Stevenson explains: “The agreement is a step in the right direction removing a key barrier for people to responsibly dispose of their appliances. We hope that it will encourage the proper disposal of fridges and freezers in the Buller region. Nobody wants to see old fridges rusting away next to our rivers and creeks.”

“It is a great initiative and we all contribute a bit, cover parts of the costs, and together advance the environmental well-being of our region”.

Coordinator waste management, Juliana Ruiz says its great to be able to see an idea that came from a resident come to life. And she acknowledges the generous support provided by Electro Services Ltd and Smart Environmental Ltd.

Council’s long-term vision is to have the community understand their waste consumption and commit to correct disposal methods. Through education, council aims to move the district towards a circular economy. This means the Buller District is operating sustainably and meets climate and waste management standards.

“Initiatives like this and residents’ participation in them is key to improve step by step the waste and recycling situation in Buller.” Ms Ruiz highlights.


For more information contact:
Juliana Ruiz





















Photo: (Left to right) Tara Shepherd, Mayor Jamie Cleine, Juliana Ruiz, Smart Environmental Operations Supervisor Westport Alan Corbett, Electro Services Limited Business Manager Darren Stevenson, Mthandazo Ndebele, Frida Inta Source: BDC


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