One ongoing stream of press releases to me comes from an environmental group in Germany called Deutsche Umwelthilfe. Mostly the releases concern the failure of those responsible to properly dispose of refrigerant in domestic refrigerators when such units are sent off to be crushed to actually do so. The organization contends only about 50 percent of such units are evacuated properly. The group wants more enforcement and higher quality standards, like that being used in Austria where “CFC recovery rates are greater than 90 percent.”

Into the mix comes the RAL Quality Assurance Association calling for the higher standards. That organization notes that those responsible for recovery claim they are doing the best they can – even though RAL doubts that. Those in recovery say environmentalists are using erroneous base data, which equipment arrives in such bad shape that they can’t use proper procedures, and there is less CFC equipment around these days than environmentalists think.

So apparently the basis for less recovery happening from those who are supposed to do the recovery is not because they are not recovering everything they can. To which the environmentalist say – not true. The answer, they say, is a better quality control system to really find out what is going on.

I’ve not gotten much information or feedback in regard to such issues in North America, but then Europe always seems to be ahead of North America when it comes to regulating industries like HVACR because of environmental concerns.

The intensity of the European turmoil could cross the Big Pond, so we need to be on our guard. But most importantly, those involved in refrigerants need to follow all the rules we have now – unless we would like even more.