completed special task

Refrigerant, Recovery and Recycling


The objectives of this project are:

  • To document refrigerant recovery, reclamation, and recycling policies, practices, and national plans in major markets in Asia, Europe, and North America.
  • To quantify, where possible, the emission reduction impacts and compare the effectiveness of different policy approaches.

This project aims to provide a balanced document describing the pros and cons of the various refrigerant containment and reclamation national regulations, policies, and practices, including the reasons for the different approaches.


The following aspects of refrigerant recovery and recycling issues will be covered:

  • Standards and regulations, such as those of the US Environmental Protection Agency, concerning the recovery/recycling/reclaiming of various refrigerants, and how these are being enforced in the air-conditioning and refrigeration servicing industries
  • References to and descriptions of market-based and economic incentive approaches, such as the programme in France
  • Description of the different approaches used to demand or encourage reclamation and reuse (including voluntary agreements), an assessment of their effectiveness, as practiced
  • Data on national experiences of producing new refrigerants, after-sales practice or other available indicators of reduced refrigerant leakage (emissions)
  • Assessment, where possible, of the economic costs/benefits of leakage abatement, recovery/reclamation, and recycling/reuse of refrigerants

The geographic scope of the project focuses on countries with a well-defined programme or plan for refrigerant recovery and recycling. At a minimum, this includes France, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, and the USA. This may be supplemented with relevant experience and information (where readily available) from other countries and international sources such as the EU and UNEP.


Results from the study have been presented at a workshop held during the IIR International Conference on Refrigerant Management and Destruction Technologies of CFCs, August 2001, Dubrovnik, Croatia (link in the right margin). This workshop has been directed at a specific target audience, and speakers have described the diversity of approaches, with regard to policies, regulations, and practices, for accomplishing recovery and recycling in their various countries/cultures. Participation in discussions has contributed to the planning of follow-up work.


The project resulted in the following publications:

  • Refrigerant Management Programs: Refrigerant Recovery, Recycling and Reclamation
    Order No. HPC-AR-11. Published April 2002. 54 pages.  Contact