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Management and Destruction of Existing Ozone Depleting Substances Banks: Guideline on the Manual Dismantling of Refrigerators and Air Conditioners

Publication date:
Dr Jonathan Heubes (HEAT GmbH, Königstein)
Type of publication:
Relevant for:

This guideline should help to improve proper waste management practices for a particularly important WEEE group: domestic refrigerators and air conditioners. These appliances are especially important because:

  • they are mass products, found in almost all households worldwide;
  • beyond the typical hazardous components in WEEE, these appliances also often contain refrigerants and foam blowing agents (the latter only in refrigerators) with a high global warming potential (GWP) and ozone depletion potential (ODP), thereby damaging the ozone layer and contributing to global warming if released uncontrolled to the environment.

This guideline addresses both environmental waste management companies and regional or local environmental authorities. Various questions arise when domestic refrigerators and air conditioners reach their end-of-life and are subject to dismantling.