Fridge gasses

Recycling fridges is not only about material recovery. Actually, the main reason to prevent old units to be left to waste is the danger from the fridge gasses.

Fridges carrie gasses in their cooling system and in the insulation foam. Originally these gasses were freons (CFC’s: R11, R12, R22 etc.). These gas types are believed to deplete the earth’s protective ozone layer and therefore their production and use has been banned from the mid 90’s of the last century. Freons from units in operation should be retrieved, the latest when they are end-of-life.

Beginning in 1990 CFC’s substitutes have been used in fridges – volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) like isobutane and cyclopentane. Although safe to the ozone layer they add to the greenhouse effect and should be retrieved as well.