Dealing with the waste from old cooling appliances

Project description


Management and destruction of existing ozone depleting substances in ODS banks

Commissioned by:

German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), as part of the International Climate Initiative (ICI)



Overall term:

2013 to 2018


Cooling devices, such as refrigerators or air-conditioning units, and the foam boards used to insulate buildings generally involve the use of fluorinated gases. Fluorinated refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are known to be ozone-depleting substances (ODS). They usually also have a very high global warming potential and therefore pose an additional threat to the global environment. It is estimated that the global warming potential of the ODS banks that exist worldwide, but predominantly in developing countries, is about 16-18 giga-tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The resulting annual emissions are thought to be more than two giga-tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

While the international community has agreed to replace these substances with ozone-friendly alternatives, no agreements have been made regarding the destruction of the ODS already produced. For developing countries in particular, the collection, recycling and destruction of waste containing ODS present challenges as they generally lack the appropriate infrastructure.


Developing countries possess greater capacities to carry out the sustainable management and destruction of ODS remaining in old cooling equipment, potentially preventing the emission of vast quantities of greenhouse gases.


GIZ is conducting this global project in cooperation with selected countries and regions within the five UN regions: Africa, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Caribbean, and Western Europe and Others. It will assist its partners in establishing appropriate collection, recovery and destruction procedures for ODS by helping them improve prevailing conditions, and by transferring good practices and technology for the management and destruction of ODS banks.

For selection as a partner, a country must be willing to reduce its emissions of the gases regulated in the Montreal Protocol by at least 35 per cent. It has been calculated that, by implementing all the measures to the full extent, the project can achieve emission reductions of approximately two million tonnes CO2 equivalent per year and country.

Countries will also gain economic and employment benefits. Technology providers and private companies will position themselves in the partner countries, gaining important expertise for future projects in the region and in other developing countries. The project will undertake the necessary transfer of know-how, while supporting the qualification of employees and other capacity development measures for the management and treatment of waste containing ODS.

As a first step, a study will be carried out providing a global overview of how ODS banks are managed. This will include analyses of national, regional and international initiatives, regulation and financing mechanisms, barriers to ODS destruction, and emissions reduction potentials. A detailed analysis of the current conditions will then be conducted in the selected partner countries. In particular, this will assess legislation and policy instruments, and (ODS) waste management infrastructure, planning and practices.

Based on this assessment, a series of national roadmaps will be drafted containing recommendations on reliable framework conditions, on the deployment of appropriate legal, economic, fiscal, informational and educational instruments, and on ways of improving capacities for the environmentally friendly management and destruction of ODS banks in the partner countries. Besides policy designs, the recommendations will include future technological and capacity needs.

Policy measures and technological cooperation will be included as part of the project, alongside capacity building and training measures. In addition, the project supports the development of guidelines for good practice in devising policies for the environmentally friendly management of ODS banks, and of methods and guidelines on completing inventories of ODS banks.