Regional Reports / Canada

Report On HRAI Extended Producer Responsibility Survey

March 17, 2004
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The Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI) recently published its Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) survey. The survey explanation and results follow.

The provincial governments are in the process of implementing EPR programs dealing with the waste created in the installation of new products. This waste can be anything from the packaging used to wrap new product in transportation, to the disposal of the decommissioned equipment the new product is replacing. The idea of these programs is to modify both physical and financial responsibilities for this waste stream to include the producers and installers of the goods.

More information on this topic can be found at the Environment Canada Web site www.ec.gc.ca/epr.

According to HRAI, it seems apparent that the HVACR industry will be included in these programs similar to the industry's EPR obligations under the Refrigerant Management Canada Program. The HRAI board of directors agreed that the association needs to learn how the industry could respond to an EPR regulation covering HVACR equipment and accessories.

HRAI then distributed an EPR survey to contractor members on current practices in the disposal or recycling of decommissioned HVACR equipment and accessories.

Survey Sample And Respondent Profile

The survey was forwarded to 625 members of the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Contractors of Canada (HRAC) and 171 responses were received. This response rate of 27.5 percent is considered a good sampling to determine trends in the industry.

The profile of the respondents is as follows:

Number of companies dealing in:

Residential: 135 (78.94 percent)

Commercial: 129 (75.43 percent)

Industrial: 59 (34.50 percent)

Number of employees of participating companies:

Under 10 - 78

11-20 - 44

21-30 - 19

Over 30 - 25

Products companies are responsible for installing:

Furnaces/air conditioners/heat pumps 156

Commercial refrigeration equipment 46

Boilers 120

Rooftops and air handlers 123

Chillers 35

Other products listed by respondents included:

Ground source heat pump

Infrared heaters

Radiant infloor

Make-up air/HRVs

Results On Treatment Of Decommissioned Equipment And Parts

Furnaces/Air Conditioners/Heat Pumps

156 respondents indicated they deal in these products. Respondents marked all options that applied to their business.

A - Transport to recycling facility: 64 - 41.02 percent

B - Transport to landfill site: 19 - 12.18 percent

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 118 - 75.64 percent

D - Leave with customer: 10 - 6.41 percent

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 34 - 21.79 percent

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 13 - 8.33 percent

G - Other: 2 - 1.28 percent

Rooftops And Air Handlers

123 respondents indicated they deal in these products. Respondents marked all options that applied to their business.

A - Transport to recycling facility: 54 - 43.90 percent

B - Transport to landfill site: 16 - 13.00 percent

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 92 - 74.79 percent

D - Leave with customer: 4 - 3.25 percent

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 25 - 20.33 percent

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 10 - 8.13 percent

G - Other: 3 - 2.43 percent

Commercial Refrigeration Equipment

46 respondents indicated they deal in these products. Respondents marked all options that applied to their business.

A - Transport to recycling facility: 26 - 56.52 percent

B - Transport to landfill site: 4 - 7.40 percent

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 39 - 84.78 percent

D - Leave with customer: 4 - 8.69 percent

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 8 - 17.39 percent

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 5 - 10.87 percent

G - Other: 2 - 4.35 percent

Boilers

120 respondents indicated they deal in these products. Respondents marked all options that applied to their business.

A - Transport to recycling facility: 43 - 35.83 percent

B - Transport to landfill site: 13 - 10.83 percent

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 92 - 76.67 percent

D - Leave with customer: 4 - 3.33 percent

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 14 - 11.67 percent

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 4 - 3.33 percent

G - Other: 2 -1.67 percent

Chillers

35 respondents indicated they deal in this product. Respondents marked all options that applied to their business.

A - Transport to recycling facility: 19 - 54.29 percent

B - Transport to landfill site: 3 - 8.57 percent

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 30 - 85.71 percent

D - Leave with customer: 4 - 11.43 percent

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 6 - 17.14 percent

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 2 - 5.71 percent

G - Other: 2 - 5.71 percent

Ancillary Parts

Results taken from full number of respondents (171). Respondents marked all options that applied to their business. Many respondents did not fill in this part of the survey.

A - Transport to recycling facility: 51 - 29.82 percent

B - Transport to landfill site: 13 - 7.60 percent

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 81 - 47.37 percent

D - Leave with customer: 3 - 1.75 percent

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 14 - 8.19 percent

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 18 - 10.53 percent

G - Other: 2 -1.17 percent

Controls

Results taken from full number of respondents' (171). Respondents marked all options that applied to their business. Many respondents did not fill in this part of the survey.

A - Transport to recycling facility: 34 - 19.88 percent

B - Transport to landfill site: 19 - 11.11 percent

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 52 - 30.41 percent

D - Leave with customer: 9 - 5.26 percent

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 21 - 12.28 percent

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 12 - 7.02 percent

G - Other: 3 - 1.75 percent

Average Totals for All Sections

A - Transport to recycling facility: 40.18 percent (27 percent)*

B - Transport to landfill site: 10.10 percent (7 percent)*

C - Have picked up by scrap dealer: 67.91 percent (45 percent)*

D - Leave with customer: 5.73 percent (4 percent)*

E - Retain for future parts use or resale: 15.54 percent (15 percent)*

F - Return through manufacturer's recycle program: 7.70 percent (8 percent)*

G - Other: 2.62 percent (2 percent)*

* For purposes of converting the "Totals" section into trends for the industry, the second bracket contains the calculated percentages (round numbers) of usage of each option with the total equaling 100 percent.

Observations

From the totals for all sections, 87 percent of those surveyed take an EPR approach to decommissioning equipment and parts (i.e., have it picked up by a scrap dealer, taken to a recycling facility, retained for future use or resale or return through a manufacturer's recycle program.)

From the totals for all sectors, 13 percent of those surveyed do not take an EPR approach to decommissioned equipment and parts (i.e. leave it with the customer, transport it to a landfill site).

Based on these responses, the large majority of HVACR contractors use EPR principles when dealing with decommissioned equipment and parts. However, though the percentages are small, the industry will need to address the practices of using landfill sites and leaving equipment with customers. An approach to this would be to develop voluntary industry guidelines and publicize them to the entire industry.

For more information, contact HRAI at 800-267-2231 or hraimail@hrai.ca.

Publication date: 03/22/2004

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