Fridge recycling scheme in the favelas

In 2000, the Brazilian government passed a law requiring that electricity providers invest 0.5% of their turnover in projects promoting energy efficiency, especially among the disadvantaged. Among these, a refrigerator exchange project in the favelas offers to swap old fridges with brand new energy efficient and environmentally friendly ones, on the condition the old fridges still have intact refrigeration circuits, compressor included. Until recently, refrigerators were recycled manually by catadores, rubbish collectors who collected them and dismantled them in order to sell any valuable materials such as metals and plastics.
The Swiss foundation SENS International carries out a pilot recycling programme in Brazil complying with the Swiss Chater –Climate Protection by Recycling” standard and providing unique on-site destruction of CFCs in a high-temperature incinerator.
A fridge disassembling facility was inaugurated in Cabreuva, in the state of Sao Paolo thanks to this project in early September 2010. it enable the environmentally-safe disposal of 300 000-400 000 old refrigerators every year. However, in order to deal with the estimated 20 million appliances in Brazil, at least 15 such facilities would be required. A second state-of-the-art plant is run by German GTZ, co-funded by the German Government at a cost of € 3.5 M out of the € 5M budget for the disposal of old refrigerators.