The following information is based on responses to an informal survey sent byThe NEWSin September 2008 to companies listed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the summer of 2008 as “EPA-Certified Refrigerant Reclaimers.” Out of 51 companies on the list, 14 provided responses.

Of the remaining companies, some did not reply, some declined to reply, some were no longer in business, and some were part of consolidations or acquisitions.

The intent of this survey is to give readers a general idea as to how reclamation companies are responding to issues of most interest to contractors and technicians.The NEWSurges readers to do additional homework before deciding on what reclamation services to utilize. The listings are alphabetical.

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Drop-off at wholesale supply houses or directly to reclaimer via common carrier. Company can provide containers, prepare shipping documents, and arrange for pickup.

Costs: Depends on customized return programs. Most programs involve volume and purity of refrigerant and usually create a profit center. Those that meet minimum shipping requirements incur no freight or cylinder charges. Small volumes through supply houses allow for consolidation of several cylinders. Cylinder deposits, evacuation fees, recertification fees on a cylinder may be charged depending on structure of return program that is customized to customer needs.

Incentives: Buyback, banking, process and return (clean and exchange).

Geographical range: United States

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Pickup is via common carrier, contractor delivery to company, or wholesalers that use company’s services. Pick up/delivery is free within 50 miles.

Costs: Depends on quantity and shipping expenses. Contractors that trade-in less than 48 cylinders are charged a flat fee to obtain clean cylinders. There is an option to purchase their cleaned refrigerant back. Contractors that turn in 800 pounds or more pay a fee per pound to reclaim refrigerant. They get reclaimed refrigerant back and packaged per their requirements.

Incentives: Incentives are to encourage contractors to not mix refrigerants. These incentives include higher charges to dispose of mixed refrigerants. If the refrigerant is reclaimable, it is offered at a buyback of less than one-half market value. The company also sells refillable cylinders at reduced rates. Company can credit and bank refrigerant. Company will also evacuate and return specific cylinders at customers request.

Geographical range: United States.

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Through participating wholesalers throughout Florida, a weekly route to contractor’s business, or direct shipment.

Costs: Return programs can be free if the customer does not want the refrigerant back. Generally, contractors pay a service charge per cylinder regardless of size (contact reclaimer for current charges). The charge covers two-way transport of cylinder, testing, and transfer of refrigerant.

Incentives: Returned refrigerants placed in contractor’s own bank for purchase as ARI-certified, offering a savings on quality refrigerants. Credits are offered if contractor does not want to bank refrigerant. Company may accept mixed R-22 at no charge. Company also has programs for R-410A and other 400 blends.

Geographical limits: United States

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Company provides reclamation services for the Rapid Recovery franchise network. Onsite recovery services provided. Recovered refrigerant is weighed, tested, and documented, from which credit is issued.

Costs: Company charges for cylinder service and recovery labor, then credits the value of the refrigerant against those costs. Additional charges are possible for disposal of refrigerant that can’t be reclaimed.

Incentives: Buyback program based on gross refrigerant weight (without deductions for oil and other contaminants) at the time service is performed.

Geographical range: Jobsite recovery and cylinder service with no travel costs in metro areas of Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and Washington. Outside those areas, service is provided in lower 48 states at a fixed bid price including travel.

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: The company comes to a contractor’s shop to exchange and restock empty cylinders.

Costs: There is no fee for the service. The contractor must have a minimum quantity of 250 lbs (approximately 10 50-pound cylinders half full).

Incentives: The company pays contractors for their recovered refrigerant while eliminating the need for in-house consolidation. Contractors receive reconditioned, cleaned, evacuated, and sealed cylinder with each exchange.

Geographical limits: Northeastern United States

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Small cylinders and quantities processed through wholesaler network. Larger quantities (800 pounds or more) can be shipped using common carrier.

Costs: Costs for small cylinder-quantities are determined by wholesale-distributor affiliate. Large-quantity costs calculated on a case-by-case basis. Competitive raters are given for refrigerant reclamation.

Incentives: Small-cylinder quantity credits determined by wholesale-distributor affiliate. Large-quantity purchases are calculated on a case-by-case basis. Competitive rates are given for refrigerant buyback.

Geographical limits: Continental United States

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Collected through company’s partner wholesalers nationwide.

Costs: Company offers what it calls Platinum Reclaim program for wholesalers. The company charges one fee per pound of processed refrigerant. All other services including freight are included with the fee.

Incentives: Quick turnaround of empty cylinders and replenished supplies of ARI-700 certified R-22 packaged in generic 30-lb. cylinders.

Geographical limits: Nationwide

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Contractors in North Texas can drop off at reclaimer. A pickup service is available for 350 lbs or more of product. Outside the region, shipment is by common carrier. The company can also offer large cylinders for collection and transport.

Costs: Costs vary depending on size of batches, type of refrigerant, and whether or not product needs to be destroyed. For example, small batches receive a market buyback value. High-pressure refrigerants such as R-22 are reclaimed, tested, and repackaged in 30-pound disposables at a set rate. Refrigerants tested as mixed product are blended, separated, or destroyed for an additional fee.

Incentives: Buyback value for most refrigerants including freight charges

Geographical limits: Reclaimer encourages customers from all states to call and evaluate the buyback or reclaim programs.

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Through a wholesaler.

Costs: Disposal charges; there may be some freight charges, depending on the wholesaler.

Incentives: Banking credits and buyback depending on what program the wholesaler is on.

Geographical limits: United States

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Contractor consolidates refrigerant into a 240-lb. cylinder or half-ton cylinder provided by Pure Chem, which prepares shipping documents and arranges for pickup. Free pickup by common carrier.

Costs: Company pays the contractor for R-22, and pays freight on shipments over 200 pounds. No cost for mixed refrigerant if refrigerant is above 70 percent R-22. Cylinders are provided with refundable deposit.

Incentives: R-22 buyback. As long as R-22 is above 70 percent, no charge. Free shipping for quantities 200 pounds or greater.

Geographical limits: United States

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Pick-up services throughout Minnesota. Company arranges for pick-ups for larger-volume contractors outside Minnesota. Large cylinders provided for consolidation if needed.

Costs: Minimal fees to accept used refrigerants. Some types of mixed refrigerant have a cost per pound for disposal. Company charges a per-pound fee to reclaim, repackage, and return customer-owned refrigerant. Reclaim and return fees vary depending on the type and volume of refrigerant.

Incentives: Credit for large volumes (greater than 1,000 pounds) on some types of refrigerant.

Geographical limits: Lower 48 United States.

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Network of authorized wholesale-distributors

Costs: Standard processing fee set by the wholesaler; may vary depending on cylinder size, type, and other local or regional market factors. Users can receive charge-back fees.

Incentives: SimpleSwap™ program allows contractors to return cylinder and swap for a like-to-like cylinder that has been clean-painted, operable, and within DOT specifications.

Geographical limits: United States

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Wholesalers take cylinders and reclaim company picks them up.

Costs: If the contractor drops off and picks up used refrigerant cylinder, there is no charge. Otherwise there are freight pickup and delivery charges.

Incentives: Reclaimer offers to purchase the refrigerant and sends a check within five days for good-quality gas, such as refrigerants that have not been mixed. Otherwise, there is a charge.

Geographical limits: United States and its territories.

How to get refrigerant to reclaimer: Contractors in the vicinity of the company’s facility in northwest Ohio can drop off refrigerant. The company also provides shipping documentation, exchange containers, and arrange for free shipping of quantities 100 pounds or more of certain reclaimable refrigerants. Smaller quantities can be dropped of at wholesale refrigerant distributors near contractor. Company provides for disposal of unusable refrigerants at competitive rates.

Costs: Company buys back R-11, -12, -22, and -134a and other refrigerants depending on quantity and condition. Refrigerants requiring disposal are quoted based on quantity and type.

Incentives: Buyback of refrigerants depending on type, quantity and condition.

Geographical limits: North America as well as some international locations.

Publication date:12/01/2008