The inadequate disposal of old, faulty air conditioners and refrigerators poses a considerable threat to the environment. In recognizing this issue, United for Efficiency Partner GIZ together with the Colombian partner ministry has published a guideline which illustrates how to appropriately dismantle cooling appliances. The publication addresses waste disposal companies and environmental ministries.
The refrigerants and insulation foams used in cooling appliances contain climate-damaging substances. If these substances escape during the dismantling of the appliance, the ozone layer is damaged, hereby leading to irreparable damage to the environment and human health. Nevertheless, many developing countries lack the necessary technology and knowledge to adequately dispose of faulty cooling appliances. Only valuable materials and components, e.g. the compressor, are removed from the cooling appliance, whilst the remaining components are discarded or burnt.
The new guideline outlines the step-wise procedures for a climate-neutral disposal of cooling appliances, including dismantling and transport considerations. Technicians from electronic waste companies are to be sensitized for a climate-friendly disposal while environmental ministries are encouraged to counteract climate change, protect the ozone layer and human health.
The new publication (available in Spanish and English) was released by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in close cooperation with the Ministry of Environment, Housing and Territorial Development of the Republic of Colombia (MADS) and funded by the International Climate Iniative (IKI) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMUB).