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Press Release

An Aggregate Amount of Fluorocarbons Recovered from Motor Vehicle Air-Conditioners in FY 2004

March 20, 2006

The Ministry of the Environment released the information that approximately 577 metric tons of fluorocarbons were recovered from the class-2 specified equipments (i.e. motor vehicle air-conditioners) in FY 2004. On January 1, 2005, the articles related to the class-2 specified equipments were removed from the Law for Ensuring the Implementation of Recovery and Destruction of Fluorocarbons Concerning Specified Products (hereinafter referred to as "the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law") and included in the Law for the Recycling of End-of-Life Vehicles (hereinafter referred to as "the End-of-Life Vehicle Recycling Law").

The Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law obliged class-2 specified equipment owners to ensure the recovery of refrigerant fluorocarbons contained in disposed class-2 specified equipments. The law also obliged the class-2 fluorocarbons recovery operators authorized to recover refrigerant fluorocarbons from the disposed class-2 specified equipments to report the quantity of fluorocarbons recovered in the previous fiscal year to prefectural governors. The prefectural governors shall then inform the competent ministers (the Minister of the Environment and the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry) of the compiled data. The competent ministers shall organize the collected data and disclose the information regarding recovery and destruction of fluorocarbons from the class-2 specified equipment.

The aggregate amount of recovered fluorocarbons (those delivered to the collection operators of class-2 specified equipments by December 31, 2004), were calculated based on the reports submitted by the class-2 recovery operators in FY 2004.

Since January 1, 2005, recovery of fluorocarbons from motor vehicle air-conditioners installed on end-of-life vehicles has been implemented within the framework of the End-of-Life Vehicle Recycling Law. (Fig.) Under this framework, the treatment of end-of-life vehicles is strictly monitored by vehicle identification numbers. The recycling fee, which includes the fee for the recovery and destruction of fluorocarbons contained in motor vehicle air-conditioners, is basically paid by automobile owners when they purchase a car. In this way, recovery of fluorocarbons from motor vehicle air-conditioners is ensured. The government shall continue, in cooperation with municipalities and industries concerned, to make efforts to ensure dissemination of information, smooth transfer to the End-of-Life Vehicle Recycling Law from the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law, and further promotion of the recovery of fluorocarbons.

Notes: 1. It is difficult to make a simple comparison of quantities of recovered fluorocarbons between FY 2004 and FY 2003 under the Fluorocarbons Recovery and Destruction Law because of the difference in time length surveyed. However, assuming that the amount of fluorocarbons recovered from January 1 to March 31, 2005 was at the same level as the preceding period, total quantity recovered in FY 2004 can be estimated as to have increased by 20% from the FY 2003 level.
2. The quantity of fluorocarbons recovered from the class-1 specified equipments (commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipments) has already been released on December 16, 2005.


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