Supporting the Introduction of a Refrigerator Recycling Programme, including a demonstration facility, in Brazil
As of: April 2020
Objective and activities
Almost every tenth refrigerator in Brazil is older than 16 years. The problem is that the old appliances operate with climate-damaging fluorinated gases (F-gases), which not only escape during use, they also enter the atmosphere during conventional disposal. The project is setting up an exemplary recycling system for old refrigerators in Brazil. The most important part of this system is a pilot plant that recycles several thousand refrigerators a year. It recovers the greenhouse gases contained in the cooling circuits and in the insulating foam. Training and qualification measures are carried out for the operation and maintenance of the plant. The project also replaces old appliances with new F-gas-free refrigerators. Subject to the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), emission certificates can be obtained through the recycling and the replacement of the old appliances. In addition, the project advises the responsible authorities on the introduction and updating of relevant national standards and norms.
State of implementation/results
- Recycling system with an annual capacity of 350,000 refrigerators installed, inspected, approved and put into operation; 93% CFC recovery rate
- Staff of operating company trained
- Standards and norms promoted: the standard NBR 15960 'Refrigerants - Recovery, Recycling and Regeneration (3R) Procedures' came into force in July 2011
- Working group established on the implementation of the new solid waste policy
- Work begun on developing a demonstration recovery system for old refrigerators in the state of Minas Gerais
- Cooperation with energy utilities CEMIG, CEPISA and CEAL ensured the recycling of around 25,000 refrigerators in 2012
- Collection point set up for old electrical and electronic devices
- Advice on updating the the national refrigerator recycling Standards ABNT NBR 15833; this was updated with the support of the project in 2018.