One overlooked way to fight climate change? Dispose of old CFCs.
The banned refrigerants not only degrade ozone, they act as greenhouse gases. New models are making it easier to get rid of old stocks.
At City Waste Recycling in Accra, Ghana, owners Jürgen Meniel and Vivian Ahiayibor mostly focus on plastics and metals, but they also reclaim refrigerants from old equipment. Several years ago, they learned of a large cache of unused canisters of a refrigerant called CFC-12. The containers looked like small propane tanks, but the gas inside was illegal.
Outlawed thirty years ago by the Montreal Protocol because of their harmful effects on the stratospheric ozone layer, CFCs have also been found to have a second, destructive effect on the climate.
A single molecule of CFC-12 can hold nearly 11,000 times the heat of carbon dioxide, making it an extraordinarily potent greenhouse gas. The small, dark shed where the refrigerant cache was