Refrigerant disposal levies increase

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Contractors may have noticed an increase in the cost of disposing of HCFC and HFC refrigerants. On July 1, Refrigerant Management Canada (RMC) increased the levies following a review of current and future disposal costs.

RMC started accepting HFCs for disposal Feb. 1 and applied a levy of $0.50/kg on HFCs sold for use in the stationary sector to fund their collection and disposal. HFC volumes now account for 35 percent of refrigerants received by RMC.

The RMC board of directors conducted an in-depth financial analysis of the program during their May meeting, reviewing program volumes, the impact the import prohibition of HCFCs will have in 2020, refrigerant inventories and industry trends. They determined that an increase in the HCFC and HFC levies were needed to ensure the RMC program has sufficient funds to handle the expected influx of refrigerants over the next couple of years.

Therefore, on July 1, the environmental levy on the sales of new and reclaimed HCFCs or HCFC blends, as well as HFCs and HFC blends sold into the Canadian HVAC/R market, increased as follows:

The HCFC levy increased to $4.50 per kilogram, up one dollar over the old rate. The HFC levy increased by 50 cents to one dollar per kilogram.

In other RMC news, there is some confusion surrounding R-123 and its end of life management.  R-123 is accepted into the RMC program for disposal free of charge.  Contractors simply return it to their local wholesaler and RMC covers all associated costs from that point forward.

RMC has collected and destroyed over 3.6 million kilograms of surplus refrigerant waste over the years. To date, the cost to collect and properly dispose of the surplus refrigerant has been more than $56 million or $3.5 million per year of operation. 

RMC provides the HVAC/R industry with the means to easily comply with Halocarbon P2 Plan, which was approved by Environment and Climate Change Canada in May, 2016. It stipulates that all importers of halocarbon refrigerants used in the stationary sector be part of a stewardship program to manage them through to end of life.

The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) operates the Refrigeration Management Canada program. For more information, please contact April Heeley, manager, environmental services, at 1-800-267-2231 ext. 239 or by email at aheeley@hrai.ca.

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