Fridge and freezer scrappage scheme launched

By David RogersAustrian authorities have launched a new scrappage scheme for old refrigerators and freezers.The
Household Environmental Forum (UFH) in cooperation with the environment
ministry announced today that Austrians would get 100 Euros for the
exchange of the old appliances for energy-saving “A++” devices under
the scheme, which has been backdated to 1 September.The budget for the initiative, which will last until the end of the year, is 2.5 million Euros.Erich Scheithauer, the head of UFH’s private foundation, said today that it would provide the money.UFH head Helmut Kolba added that there would be similar initiatives in regard to other household appliances next year.Under
the programme people turning in old refrigerators or freezers 90
centimetres high will get a bonus of 50 Euros from UFH, and those
taller than 90 centimetres will get a bonus of 100 Euros.Kolba
said he hoped the initiative would result in 25,000-to-30,000
appliances being turned in, adding 280 people had already taken
advantage of the scheme. There were around 6.5 million household
appliances between 12 and 15 years old in Austria, he said.The
new bonus programme comes in the wake of a federal programme for old
cars that has already ended and a Vienna programme for old bicycles
that is still in effect.The old-car programme, which began on 1
April and ended on 8 July, was deemed a success by People’s Party (ÖVP)
Economy Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner.The ruling Social
Democrats (SPÖ) in Vienna announced in late August that another 500
cyclists would be able to make use of the previously introduced bonus
programme. If they invest in a new bike, the council pays 70 Euros if
they leave their old, usable bicycle with car club Arbö, which will
pass it on to charity projects.But SPÖ Vienna traffic
councillor Rudolf Schicker warned there would not be another extension
of the programme which started with a first batch of 500 exchange
opportunities.Initiators praised the model as an effective
environmental measure that would result in lower emissions of
greenhouse gases in the city and increase traffic safety as new
bicycles had better security features. SPÖ Vienna bosses said the
scheme would boost the city’s economy.Herbert Hübner, the head
of the Vienna branch of car club Arbö, which is functioning as the
depository for the old bicycles, said late last month that more than
300 people had received a bonus of 70 Euros for junking their old bikes
since the programme had begun and many more were on the waiting list.A
person with an old bike who wants to obtain the bonus must first sign
up online with Arbö. He must then take his old bike to Arbö within
seven days, along with a receipt for the purchase of a new bike costing
at least 140 Euros that is no more than 14 days old and a photo I.D.
proving he is a resident of Vienna. All old bikes must conform to city
regulations for their use.The re-socialisation agency Neustart
(New Start) is reconditioning the old bikes, which will be used in a
number of social programmes, most of which will involve their
distribution to people who cannot afford to buy a bike.The
Austria Traffic Club (VCÖ) had recently said it feared the recession
would result in fewer sales of new bicycles if nothing was done to
stimulate demand and called for a national subsidy of 100 Euros for the
purchase of new bicycles.