Recovery, Re-use and Recycling: Q&A

What means “Recovery”?

Recovery means the collection and storage of fluorinated greenhouse gases from, for example, machinery, equipment and containers.

Am I responsible for the recovery of F-gases? If I am, do I need to hire external personnel or can my own personnel do it?

Those responsible for the recovery of fluorinated gases are:

  • Operators of cooling circuits of refrigeration, air-conditioning and heat pump equipment;
  • Operators of equipment containing fluorinated greenhouse gas-based solvents;
  • Operators of fire protection systems and fire extinguishers;
  • Operators of high-voltage switchgear.

An operator is defined as “the natural or legal person exercising actual power over the technical functioning of the equipment and systems”. Operators must put in place arrangements for the proper recovery by certified personnel (see section 3), and disposal of the F-gases contained in these equipments.

When a refillable or non-refillable fluorinated greenhouse gas container reaches the end of its life, the person utilising the container for transport or storage purposes is responsible for putting in place arrangements for the proper recovery of any residual gases.

The fluorinated greenhouse gases contained in other products and equipment, including mobile equipment (unless it is serving military operations), need to be recovered by appropriately qualified personnel (see section 3) to the extent that it is technically feasible and does not entail disproportionate cost.

When are the F-gases to be recovered?

Recovery, for the purpose of recycling, reclamation or destruction of the fluorinated greenhouse gases, shall take place before the final disposal of equipment and, when required, during its servicing and maintenance. F-gases MUST not be released to the atmosphere.