The National Environment and Planning Agency, NEPA, is looking to establish refrigerant recovery and recycling centres in Jamaica.

Refrigerants are substances used in mechanisms designed to maintain cold temperatures.

These include refrigerators, freezers and home and motor vehicle air conditioning systems.

The announcement is timely as Jamaica observed International Day of Preserving the Ozone Layer on Friday, September 15, under the theme – ‘Montreal Protocol: Fixing the Ozone Layer and Reducing Climate Change’.

Manager for the National Ozone Unit and NEPA National Ozone Officer, Vivian Blake, says consequent on the centres’ establishment, “instead of importing a new refrigerant, you take (the one already being used), clean it up and continue using it so that you do not keep adding to the consumption of this ozone depleting chemical.”

Mr. Blake noted that the centres, which will be established in several parishes, will be available to technicians and other users in the refrigerant and air conditioning sector.
He encourages Jamaicans to seek advice from licensed refrigerant and air conditioning companies to avoid purchasing apparatus that deplete the ozone layer.

“They are quite knowledgeable about the equipment that are energy efficient and the refrigerants that do not pose any threat or harm to the ozone layer. This is the sector that has contributed a lot [to] where we are, in terms of our compliance to the Montreal Protocol,” Mr. Blake added.

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty that aims to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that cause the element’s depletion.
Jamaica is far advanced in gradually eliminating these substances.