Recovering, reclaiming and recycling F gas

How to recover fluorinated gas (F gas) from equipment and get it reclaimed or recycled.

A technician with qualifications to work with F gas must recover F gases from equipment, including when it’s reached the end of its life.

You must recover F gas from:

  • commercial or industrial refrigeration systems
  • refrigeration systems in trucks, trailers, ships and other vehicles
  • stationary air conditioning (fitted to buildings and can’t be moved)
  • portable or mobile air conditioning systems
  • stationary heat pump systems (fitted to buildings and can’t be moved)
  • stationary fire protection systems (for example, automatic fire suppression systems in large buildings)
  • high voltage switchgear

For equipment not listed above, F gas must be recovered if it’s technically feasible and the cost is proportionate.

You must use a registered waste carrier to send the recovered waste F gas (or the whole unit) to a licensed waste facility that accepts waste F gas and ozone-depleting substances (ODS).

You can email for advice.

It is against the law to release F gas into the atmosphere on purpose unnecessarily. If you do, you could be prosecuted or get a civil penalty. See the Environment Agency enforcement sanctions policy.

If you see someone release F gas into the atmosphere on purpose, report it to

Recovering F gas from aerosols

It’s not cost effective to recover F gas from individual aerosols like spray paints or deodorants.

If you collect or use large quantities, you should send them to a licensed waste facility that accepts waste F gas and ODS so they can get it reclaimed, recycled or destroyed.

Get your F gas reclaimed or recycled

Reclaimed F gas is reprocessed to the standard of virgin (unused) F gas.

You can send recovered F gas to a licensed waste facility that accepts waste F gas and ODS to get it reclaimed, recycled or destroyed.

If you do, you must use a registered waste carrier.

This applies to both:

  • F gas that can be removed from equipment and transported separately
  • F gas incorporated into the equipment, for example in foam

The rules apply to all:

  • refrigerants
  • hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in foam insulation
  • HFCs used in fire protection systems
  • sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) from high voltage switchgear
  • propellants from aerosols
  • solvents

Using recycled F gas

Recycled F gas is re-using F gas following a basic cleaning process.

Recycled F gas with a global warming potential of more than 2,500 can only be used in equipment owned or operated by the:

  • company that owned the refrigeration system from which the F gas was recovered
  • company that carried out the recovery

Calculate the carbon dioxide equivalent quantity of an F gas using its global warming potential.

Published 21 August 2019
Last updated 18 April 2023 + show all updates
  1. Changed the links for licensed waste facilities from the Environmental Permitting Regulations – Waste Operations to a new GOV.UK page called ‘Licensed waste facilities that accept waste F gas and ODS’. Made minor tweaks to content for clarity including deleting duplicated content.

  2. Removed outdated dates. Updated links to find licensed waste facilities. Updated page to improve flow of information.

  3. First published.