RAL Criticizes Proposed European Standard for Recycling Hydrocarbon-Containing Appliances
Feb 6, 2007
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According to the RAL Quality Assurance Association, a recently published European standard for the treatment of waste refrigeration equipment containing hydrocarbons infringes prevailing law. RAL said the standard, Requirements for the Collection, Transportation, Storage and Treatment of Cooling and Freezing Appliances containing Hydrocarbons (HC), was compiled by European appliance association CECED, EERA and the WEEE Forum and that it specifies the atmospheric release of hydrocarbons contained in end-of-life refrigeration equipment as a permissible disposal route, despite that this contravenes the requirements of the European Union's WEEE directive and the national implementation measures of most EU member states.

The RAL Quality Assurance Association for the Demanufacture of Refrigeration Equipment said it was excluded from the standard discussions. The Luxembourg-based association said it "launched a counter-offensive" in issuing a critical appraisal of the new standard.

In a letter by RAL Secretary Christoph Becker to the three associations, he stated his belief that there was a "conscious decision to exclude…recycling companies and recycling organizations, independent (i.e. financially uninvolved) scientific institutions, lawyers and neutral bodies (e.g. RAL)."  This compromises the basis for the standard, Becker wrote, and it should be rejected for that reason alone."

Becker further argues that the new standard's request to allow “controlled release” of hydrocarbons contravenes existing legislation, contravening the provisions of the WEEE directive and should therefore be recalled.

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