Talk about a cross-country connection. Rapid Recovery, an Arizona-based refrigerant recovery firm, recently teamed with Refron Inc., a New York-based refrigerant reclaimer and distributor, for a project involving Winn-Dixie supermarket locations throughout North and South Carolina.

It started with Winn-Dixie's restructuring efforts. The Florida-based chain closed 87 stores; the refrigeration systems in those stores contained thousands of pounds of refrigerant that had to be recovered before the equipment could be removed from the stores.

Rapid Recovery was called in to recover refrigerant from the stores in quick fashion. Refron had the task of shipping cylinders to the individual stores.

"We have worked with Refron on other projects, and they have yet to run out of cylinders," said Les Rhynard of Rapid Recovery. "I personally don't know how they do it but they always come through."

The project consisted of recovering refrigerant from more than 300 pieces of equipment at all 87 locations. Each store contained anywhere from 1,000 to 4,000 pounds of various refrigerants. In all, six refrigerant types (R-404A, -22, -409A, -408A, -502, and -12) were recovered and returned. Refron provided 200- and 1,000-pound recovery cylinders and coordinated the logistics of completing the project in 15 days, as mandated by Winn-Dixie.

"It is a major accomplishment to supply and arrange the shipping of cylinders for roughly 150,000 pounds of refrigerant under these circumstances," said Rhynard.

The project was completed ahead of schedule.

This is the third collaboration between Refron and Rapid Recovery. In April 2003 and January 2004, the companies teamed up on projects for Big Bear Supermarket and Super Kmart locations, respectively. Big Bear consisted of 33 stores, mostly in Ohio and a few in West Virginia. Kmart consisted of 57 stores throughout 20 states, including Alaska.

Rapid Recovery provided the refrigerant documentation required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Every system was tagged to show that the refrigerant had been recovered and transported by Refron to Pure Chem Inc., another EPA-approved refrigerant reclaimer and chemical separation company located in Texas. There, the processing included receiving and testing hundreds of cylinders.

Officials at Winn-Dixie decided they would like to keep a portion of the refrigerant recovered for future use in company-owned stores. Refron worked with refrigerant manufacturers as well as Pure Chem, to ensure there were no patent violations on many of the refrigerants recovered, processed, or subsequently repackaged into cylinders for Winn-Dixie.

For more information, contact Rapid Recovery at 877-372-7732,, or Contact Refron Inc. at, and Pure Chem Inc. at

Publication date: 12/05/2005