Global Environment

State of Fluorocarbons Recovery from Commercial Freezer/Air Conditioner in FY 2005

November 24, 2006

The Ministry of the Environment (MOE) released the state of the recovery of fluorocarbons from the class-1 specified equipments (i.e., commercial freezers such as food showcases, large scale freezers/refrigerators and refrigerated storages, and commercial air conditioners) in FY 2005.
The class-1 fluorocarbons recovery operators reported to the prefectural governors the amount of fluorocarbons recovered from the class-1 specified equipments in FY 2005 in compliance with the Law concerning the Recovery and Destruction of Fluorocarbon (hereinafter referred to as "the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law"). The aggregated value obtained from those reports was approximately 2,298tons (9.3% increase though collected number was 4.9 % decrease compared to FY 2004).

The Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law obliges the class-1 fluorocarbons recovery operators which are authorized to recover refrigerant fluorocarbons from end-of-life commercial freezers/air conditioners to report the amount of recovered fluorocarbons in the previous fiscal year to prefectural governor. The prefectural governors shall report this information to the competent ministers (Minister of the Environment and Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry). The competent ministers are obliged to summarize and release the collected information on recovery and destruction of fluorocarbons from specified equipments (Tables 1, 2 & 3).

In order to accomplish thorough recovery of fluorocarbons, strenuous efforts are essential, since recovered fluorocarbons is increasing compared to FY 2004 but the rate of recovery is estimated to be low. In this respect, amendment of the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law was accomplished in June this year, making it obligatory as a pillar to introduce the Process Management System and the Recovery of Fluorocarbons at maintenance. MOE is moving ahead on efforts for Enforcement of the Law which is due in October 2007 aiming for thorough recovery and destruction.

  • 1.Based on the shipped units by year according to the kinds of commercial freezers/air conditioners, yearly ratio of disposed units and initial volume of refrigerant mounted, the estimation indicates that there were 7,075 tons of refrigerant fluorocarbons in package air-conditioners and commercial freezers/air conditioners disposed of in FY 2005. Based on the figure and the recovered volume (2,298 tons), the recovery rate of refrigerant fluorocarbons was estimated to be around 32% (31% in FY 2004). When estimation was made taking into account statistics of construction and demolition of buildings, total volume of refrigerant fluorocarbons disposed in FY 2004 is estimated to 5,429 tons, and the recovery rate based on this figure is 42% (42% in FY 2004).
  • 2.According to compilation of amount based on the reports submitted by destruction operators announced on June 30, 2006, the amount of fluorocarbons delivered to class-1 destruction operators by class-1 recovery operators was 2,108 tons in FY 2005, which is 113% of the figure reported by recovery operators, which was 1,866 tons. This difference is considered to include fluorocarbons recovered during the repairing or maintenance besides disposal.