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Milestone reached by Refrigerant Management Canada with over 500,000 kilograms of Ozone Depleting Substances Destroyed

Wednesday, March 15th 2006 11:45:13am

(Toronto, February 7, 2006) Unique in North America, an innovative Canadian program is responsible for destroying over half a million kilograms of Ozone Depleting Substances (ODS).  Established in 2001 to collect and destroy surplus ODS refrigerants (CFCs, HCFCs and HCFC blends), RMC is an industry-led partnership initiated by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) and the Canadian refrigeration and air conditioning industry.

The RMC program, one of only a handful in the world, is often touted by Environment Canada as an example of a successful industry-led Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program.  The RMC program is being monitored by other jurisdictions including the United States, where the launch of a similar program is under consideration.

In July 2005, RMC was approved through Environment Canada's Environmental ChoiceM Program to utilize the EcoLogoM.  Only products or programs that are environmentally preferable due to their development and promotion of higher standards of environmental performance are permitted to use the symbol. This provides further assurance that companies have made an environmentally responsible choice when they use the RMC Program.

A voluntary environmental levy remitted by refrigerant manufacturers, importers and reclaimers on the sale of virgin and reclaimed HCFC refrigerants funds the program. “RMC has retained the same levy rate for disposal and handling for the past five years. The levy has recently been adjusted upwards to $1.50 per kilogram. This was necessary to ensure that we continue to provide the same quality and scope of service, while reflecting increases in costs and volume of refrigerants entering the program,” observed RMC Chair, Fred Dawson (E.I. du Pont Canada Company).

Fiscal Year/ODS Kilograms collected/ODS Kilograms destroyed
2001/8,909/0
2002/47,721/18,270
2003/159,895/39,846
2004/291,108/336,197
2005/115,901/159,712
Total/623,534/554,025

Capture and disposal of surplus ODS products is crucial because they damage the stratospheric ozone layer - the protective layer that shields life on Earth from high levels of ultraviolet (UV) light. There is evidence that human exposure to increased UV radiation has lead to an increase in the incidence of skin cancer, eye cataracts and the weakening of immune systems.  International efforts to reduce the use of ODS have resulted in slowing of the rate of ozone layer depletion. Full recovery of the earth’s ozone layer is calculated to begin in approximately 2050 if current levels of recovery continue to be achieved.

Under the RMC program, surplus refrigerants are recovered and collected by contractors who ship the captured material in cylinders to wholesalers. The wholesalers record the refrigerant information, store the waste and coordinate shipment to Collection Service Providers (CSPs): two in Ontario–Fielding Chemical Technologies in Mississauga and Protocol Resource Management in Aurora; and, one in Nova Scotia–Refrigerant Services Inc. in Dartmouth. The CSPs inspect and test the collected product and prepare it for safe transport to RMC approved disposal sites in Canada and the US–Earth Tech in Swan Hills, Alberta, and Onyx Environmental in Port Arthur, Texas, and Sauget, Illinois.

The RMC program is a successful, cost effective and environmentally sound disposal mechanism for these substances. It is noteworthy that RMC has successfully handled in half of the time virtually the same volume as the decade old Australian program.

Dawson concluded, “We are proud of the success of RMC.  Our program allows for the enjoyment of the benefits provided by air conditioning and refrigeration, while ensuring that surplus ODS refrigerants are managed in an environmentally sound manner.”

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For more information on how the RMC program works, visit the RMC web site at www.hrai.ca/rmc or contact RMC Project Coordinator April Gucciardo at (905) 361-1165, or 1-866-622-0209, or email agucciardo@hrai.ca or RMC President Warren Heeley at (416) 702-4702.

RMC 2005-2006 Board of Directors

Fred Dawson (Chair), E.I. du Pont Canada, Mississauga, ON

Tom Boutette (Past Chair), Boutette & Barnett Trade Distribution Centre, London, ON

Dennis Larson (Secretary/Treasurer), Refrigerative Supply Ltd., Burnaby, BC

Warren Heeley (President), HRAI, Mississauga, ON

Ted Aldcroft, O&Y Commercial Management/BOMA, Toronto, ON

Mark Boncardo, Ineos Fluor Canada Inc., Concord, ON

Ron Brodawka, Frontier Wolseley HVAC/R Group, Mississauga, ON

Mike Burns, RSR Home Comfort Products, Mississauga, ON

John Murphy, J.E. Murphy ClimateCare, LaSalle, ON

Beatrice Olivastri, Friends of the Earth Canada, Ottawa, ON

Louis Pennachetti, Arkema Canada Inc., Oakville, ON

Richard Scrivener, Polar Refrigeration Service Ltd., Saskatoon, SK

Richard Siddall, Hallmark Air Conditioning Ltd., Surrey, BC


Leif Stephanson, the Acting Director, Chemicals Control Branch of Environment Canada, participates as an observer on the RMC Board.  Sarah Campbell of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment is an alternate to Mr. Stephanson.  Paul Haskins of Fielding Chemical Technologies acts as an observer for the RMC Collection Service Providers.