Refrigeration Compressor Disposal Guidelines

Written by dusty snoke | 13/05/2017
Refrigeration Compressor Disposal Guidelines
Refrigerators, freezers and all types of air conditioners use compressors to cool air. (réfrigérateur image by dead_account from

Discarded refrigeration compressors are an environmental hazard. CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) and HCFC (hydrofluorocarbon) are two chemicals found in the compressors. These chemicals deplete the ozone and contribute to greenhouse gases. Proper disposal ensures these chemicals stay out of the environment.

Bounty Programs

When disposing of refrigeration compressors, contact the local utility to see if a bounty program exists. This program pays the appliance owner a small amount of money for used appliances and compressors. The recycler strips all recyclable items from the appliance. The unusable parts are properly discarded at a local landfill.

Public Works

Refrigeration Compressor Disposal Guidelines
A few public works departments will arrange removal of compressors and other appliances. (dustman image by Seiberspace from

If the bounty program is not available, contact the local public works for details on disposal procedures. Some departments will provide pickup and refrigerant removal. Other communities will require the owner to handle the transportation and refrigerant removal. If the landfill is not removing the refrigerant, ask the technician to provide certification for the refrigerant removal.


Once the refrigerant has been removed, the compressor can be disposed of properly. Call local scrap or recycling yards to check on recycling or selling the compressor for scrap metal. If recycling is not available, dispose of the compressor at the local landfill. The certification of removal will be required before leaving the compressor.

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