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Reminder on R22 ban

Since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 98% of ozone depleting substances have been phased out of production and consumption. 
HCFCs have been used as refrigerant gases since the complete phase out of the older CFC refrigerants.  The most commonly used HCFC refrigerant is known as R22 and has been in widespread use in many applications. 
Since 1 January 2015 the use of all R22 in the maintenance or servicing of existing refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pump equipment has been prohibited. Any operator of equipment running on R22 should consider the impact of this ban and ask for advice from a qualified and certified refrigeration and air-conditioning contractor to ensure that any business-critical equipment is retrofitted with an alternative gas or replaced.  Operators of other equipment that is not considered business-critical may prefer to continue using the equipment; however, it is recommended that operators have a plan in place in the event that the equipment breaks down, as it will be illegal to service or maintain the equipment if it involves the use of R22.
Note that although equipment containing R22 can continue to be used from 1 January 2015, there can be no maintenance or servicing carried out on the equipment that involves breaking into the refrigerant circuits.
F-gases are the most common alternative to ODS, but their use is also controlled because they have a negative impact on climate change.  
It should be noted that recovered refrigerant gas is considered a hazardous waste and must be managed accordingly. From 1 January 2015, there will be no legitimate use for any recovered R22, therefore it must be discarded and managed as a hazardous waste.
Any refrigerant gas recovered from equipment is considered a hazardous waste and must be managed accordingly. Operators should ensure that the contractor carrying out the work is appropriately qualified to do so, and that the waste refrigerant gas is handled by a person that is compliant with the waste management (collection permit) regulations.
April 2015