Dealing with the waste from old cooling appliances

Project description

Title: Management and destruction of existing ozone depleting substances in ODS banks
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)
Country: Global (Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ghana, Iran and Tunisia)
Overall term: 2013 to 2021



Cooling devices, such as refrigerators or air-conditioning units, and also the foam boards used to insulate buildings generally involve the use of fluorinated refrigerants such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), or hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). CFCs and HCFCs are known to be ozone-depleting substances (ODS) with a very high global warming potential and have gradually been replaced with HFCs, which are not ODS but still significantly contribute to global warming.

The excessive use of ODS has led to the accumulation of large banks globally. Their yearly emissions would be equal to that of the carbon dioxide from more than 440 coal power plants.

While the international community has agreed to regulate the production and consumption of ODS by the Montreal Protocol and to phase-down HFCs with its Kigali Amendment, no agreements have been made regarding the destruction of the ODS and HFCs already produced. For developing countries in particular, the collection, recycling and destruction of waste containing ODS and HFCs present challenges as they generally lack the appropriate political and regulatory framework and infrastructure.


Partner countries have achieved a significant reduction of emissions resulting from ODS banks through the implementation of national strategies and regional cooperation.


The project “Management and destruction of existing ozone depleting substances in ODS banks” is conducting this global project in cooperation with Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Iran and Tunisia. It assists 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.

As a first step, detailed analyses of current framework conditions in the partner countries, including assessment of legislation, policy instruments and ODS bank inventories are being carried out. Based on these assessments, national roadmaps for the five partner countries are being developed containing recommendations on reliable framework conditions, such as an appropriate set of policy measures, sustainable financial mechanisms, effective collection mechanisms and a functioning ODS recycling and destruction infrastructure.

To support the implementation of the measures, capacity building activities, stakeholder workshops and the development of sustainable financial mechanisms are being promoted. 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. A technology cooperation component assesses technology needs capacities for environmentally friendly management and destruction of ODS banks and promotes technology cooperation.


Capacity Building and Development on ODS banks management:

  • In Colombia, more than 120 technicians and public officials from local environment agencies and e-waste management companies have been trained on the manual dismantling of refrigerators and air conditioners.
  • 70 workshop participants have been trained on the set-up of a sustainable financial scheme (Extended Producer Responsibility-Scheme) in the refrigerator and air conditioning sector in the Dominican Republic.
  • 40 private sector representatives were trained in Tunisia on the development of the ODS bank inventory.
  • An ODS-reclaim facility has been installed in Bogotá, Colombia and 14 technicians have been trained on the installation and operation of the facility.
  • A study tour has been organised for national ozone officers and ministry representatives of four partner countries to exchange and show best practice examples of the collection, recycling and destruction of ODS banks in Germany.
  • A study tour was organised to visit treatment facilities and public institutions in Switzerland, to learn good practices for e-waste and ODS management. The objective was to learn about different technology options and policy aspects by selected partner country representatives.
  • The project further enabled national representatives from partner organisations to participate in national and international conferences (e.g. CILCA Colombia, I4C Germany) to exchange on the cross-cutting topics and gain access to technical information and networks.

Training material, partner country analyses and technical studies on ODS Banks Management:

  • Five national ODS bank inventories, national factsheets and gap analyses determining priority areas for the management of ODS banks have been developed.
  • Five national ODS bank roadmaps are being developed highlighting key activities to be implemented for successful ODS bank management in the country-specific context.
  • Training material as well as guidelines for successful ODS bank management have been developed.

Awareness Raising:

  • Factsheets and various small brochures, e.g. on inventory results have been developed.
  • A clip to raise awareness on adequate collection, recovery and destruction of ODS banks has been developed and shown at various public, political and technical events.
  • Project findings have been presented at international conferences, such as the Montreal Protocol, the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP) and Open-ended Working Group (OEWG), as well as UNEP regional meetings of the National Ozone Units in Asia, Latin-America/Caribbean and Africa, IFAT Trade Fair for Water, Sewage, Waste and Raw Materials Management (Munich), World Resources Forum (Geneva), GIZ E-Waste Academy (Bangkok), International Life Cycle Conference in Latin America (CILCA, Colombia), etc.