Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland
This guidance is relevant if your road transport business owns and operates refrigerated vehicles and equipment, including:
Refrigerated vehicles may contain fluorinated gases (F-gases). Older vehicles may contain ozone-depleting substances (ODS). These chemicals can cause significant harm to the environment by damaging the ozone layer and contributing to global warming, and may escape during servicing or at the end of the vehicle or equipment's life.
If your refrigerated transport contains F-gases, for example HFC 134a, you must:
The use of ODS in refrigeration equipment has been banned since 2015. If your refrigeration equipment contains an ODS, such as a hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFCs like R22), you must use an alternative refrigerant when recharging the system. You must use a qualified person to service, repair or dismantle your vehicle or equipment.
ODS and F-gases must be recovered from refrigerated vehicles and equipment during servicing, repair or dismantling by a suitably qualified person. They could hold one of the following qualifications:
If you operate cars or light vans with air-conditioning that uses F-gases, you must comply with additional requirements. See our guidance on vehicle air-conditioning systems.
If you operate a distribution centre with chill or cold stores or air-conditioning equipment, you must comply with additional requirements. See our guidance on: F-gases in refrigeration and air-conditioning
You should use competent specialist contractors to install or decommission refrigeration equipment. Supervise their work to ensure that leaks are prevented and that solutions containing the refrigerant do not enter watercourses or surface water drains.
Establish a regular maintenance and inspection schedule to ensure leaks do not occur.
Buy a vehicle that suits your needs, for example smaller, more fuel efficient temperature controlled vans may be better for delivering within a town.
Ammonia refrigerants are highly toxic. You should never allow them to enter surface water drains, surface waters or groundwater. This causes pollution and you could be prosecuted. If water contaminated with ammonia does enter a surface water drain, surface waters or groundwater, report it immediately to the pollution hotline on 0800 80 70 60.
If contaminated water enters a sewer, you should tell your water or sewerage company or authority immediately.
The Cold Chain Federation, a trade association for hauliers and distributors, provides information and best practice standards on using temperature controlled transport.
Refrigerated transport and equipment
SEPA Special Waste Consignment Notes – updated position, The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is now accepting special waste consignment notes (SWCNs) by email only.
DAERA Waste Policy Tracker, The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has published a Waste policy tracker to stay informed of waste policy developments.
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