Appliances that are no longer needed are often dropped off for disposal at solid waste landfills, metal recyclers, or similar facilities. Many of these appliances, such as window air conditioners, motor vehicle air conditioners, and refrigerators, rely on ozone-depleting refrigerants and their substitutes. As the owner or operator of a solid waste landfill or metal recycling facility, you need to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) regulations for the removal of refrigerants before you dispose of any appliances...........
This brochure describes the federal safe disposal requirements you must follow when your facility accepts an appliance that might contain refrigerants for disposal. You should also check with your local environmental agency to make sure that you comply with any local or state regulations as well when disposing of these appliances.
Which Appliances You Need to Check Before Accepting for Disposal Appliances with cooling elements, such as motor vehicle air conditioners, household refrigerators and freezers, window air conditioners, water coolers, vending machines, ice makers and dehumidifiers, are subject to EPA’s safe disposal requirements.
What You Need to Do When You Accept these Appliances for Disposal
Under the federal regulations, you are responsible for making sure the refrigerant has been properly removed before an appliance is buried, shredded or dismantled, either by verifying its removal prior to arrival at your facility, or by removing it yourself.
Verification of Refrigerant Removal Prior to Arrival at Landfill
As the owner or operator of a solid waste landfill or metal recycling facility, you must obtain a written and signed statement from each of your customers verifying that the refrigerant has been properly removed from all appliances (including motor vehicle air conditioners) prior to delivery to your facility. You must maintain copies of these documents on site for at least three years. This documentation must include:
As part of your verification efforts, EPA recommends that you notify any customers sending these appliances for disposal that the refrigerant must be properly removed before the appliances arrive at your facility.
You may do this by:
What if I receive an appliance with a sticker on it?
In most cases, marks on appliances such as “X” or the presence of a sticker in some way stating that the appliance has been “emptied” do NOT satisfy the EPA verification requirements.
Refrigerant Removal after Arrival at Your Facility
If you do not require your customers to properly remove the refrigerant from any appliance before it arrives in your facility, you must properly remove the refrigerant prior to burying, shredding or dismantling the appliance at your facility. If you choose to remove and collect the remaining refrigerant from an appliance at your facility, you must do so in accordance with EPA’s safe disposal requirements. You must obtain and properly use refrigerant recovery equipment that has been certified for use with small appliances or motor vehicle air-conditioners. As the owner of refrigerant recovery equipment you must register or certify that you have obtained refrigerant recovery equipment and that you will comply with the safe disposal requirements.
The equipment certification must be signed by the owner of the equipment or another responsible officer and sent to he appropriate EPA Regional Office. You are not required to send in a new certification each time you add refrigerant recovery equipment at your facility.
The certification must include:
1. The name and address, including the county name, of the purchaser of the equipment;
2. The name and address of your facility (where the equipment is or will be located);
3. The number of service trucks (or other vehicles) used to transport technicians and equipment between your facility, any job sites and the field;
4. The manufacturer name, the date of manufacture, and, if applicable, the model and serial number of the equipment;
5. A statement that the equipment will be properly used in servicing, recovering, or disposing of appliances and that the information given is true and correct.