Refrigerant reclaiming and recycling
In the USA, 4,900 tonnes of ozone-depleting refrigerant including 4266 tonnes of R22 were reported as reclaimed by EPA certified reclaimers in 2016. This is a rather good number in itself, but compared to EPA projections, which estimated this number to be two to four times greater, it is rather disappointing. Reusing (instead of reclaiming), underestimation of leak rates, stockpiling and a lack of enforcement of existing federal regulations on refrigerant venting are possible explanations for the figure.
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In Chile, the first recycling plant for HCFCs and HFCs opened last October. The recycling centre "will allow us to have less consumption of refrigerants, more energy efficiency and lower production costs," said Environment Minister Marcelo Mena, referring to recycled gas being sold at a price between 20 and 30% less than the one currently imported.
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