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The Chaffee County Landfill  as of June 1, 2023, has suspended its ability to accept any item that contains the refrigerant Freon (R-22). This includes most refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units.

The Landfill initially began collecting Freon-containing items for disposal in the summer of 2021. While it hopes to be able to resume acceptance in the future, until further notice, items containing Freon or without verifiable documentation of its removal by an authorized professional will be turned away.

Why the change?

There’s no local resource to remove it. The local professional agency that partnered with the Landfill to remove/recover Freon in compliance with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements is no longer offering this service. The Landfill does not presently have an alternative vendor who can meet these EPA requirements and thus cannot accept Freon-containing items for disposal.

The Landfill is able to accept many appliance units for scrap metal recycling once the Freon has been professionally removed and when it has the accompanying EPA-required written documentation.

Those with an appliance you believe contains Freon that you would like to dispose of, should contact the Chaffee County Landfill at 719-539-3738 for assistance. They can help you locate certified technicians that can remove the Freon.

Freon, also known as R-22, is a chlorofluorocarbon gas used as a cooling agent in items like refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units. Freon is hazardous to the atmosphere when released into the environment and must be removed by professionals before the items are disposed of.

These Freon removal and recovery procedures are mandated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Freon was phased out in the United States beginning in 2010 and new production and import of Freon was prohibited starting in January 2020. However, older appliances and equipment may still contain this ozone-depleting refrigerant. Most appliance labels will indicate whether the unit contains Freon (R-22).

Featured image: The Chaffee County Landfill. Photo courtesy of GARNA.