Disposing of ozone-depleting substances

It is illegal to release certain ozone-depleting substances into the atmosphere. Take care when disposing of old appliances and equipment.

Ozone-depleting substances in household appliances and pressurised systems

The chemicals that drive the cooling systems in fridges, freezers, air conditioners and heat pumps may contain ozone-depleting substances, particularly in older appliances. These substances may also be present in fire extinguishers, cleaning solvents and aerosol propellants.

Do not dump fridges, freezers, air conditioners and heat pumps. Contact a specialist waste disposal company. They will remove and collect the ozone-depleting substances and will arrange for proper disposal of all components of the appliance/s. There is normally a fee for this service.

Some newer appliances use alternative refrigerants such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – it is also illegal to release these synthetic gases into the atmosphere because they are potent greenhouse gases (known as synthetic greenhouse gases).

Find out where ozone-depleting substances are found

If you release controlled ozone-depleting substances into the atmosphere, you could be fined up to NZ$10,000 under the Ozone Layer Protection Act 1996. You could also be fined up to $50,000 under the Climate Change Response Act 2002 for releasing synthetic greenhouse gases: hydrofluorocarbon, perfluorocarbon, or sulphur hexafluoride.

If you don’t know whether an appliance contains an ozone-depleting substance or a synthetic greenhouse gas, take a cautious approach and organise to have the gas collected by a specialist company.

Read more about the rules for hydrofluorocarbon gases

Find out more about the penalties for releasing synthetic greenhouse gases

Methyl bromide fumigation operations

All fumigation operations using methyl bromide must meet additional requirements to control their emissions. 

Read about the requirements (controls) for methyl bromide