Frequent Questions

Is a discarded freon cylinder regulated as hazardous waste?

Freon is considered a hazardous waste when used as a refrigerant or blowing agent if the waste generated exhibits a characteristic of a hazardous waste. However, to promote recycling and discourage the practice of venting used chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants into the atmosphere in order to avoid Subtitle C regulation, the Agency has provided an exclusion for CFCs that are recycled (i.e., reclaimed for reuse) (56 FR 5910; February 13, 1991 (OSW-FR-91-005)). Used CFCs from totally enclosed heat transfer equipment (i.e., air conditioning and refrigeration systems) are not hazardous wastes when recycled, as long as the refrigerant is reclaimed for further use (40 CFR ?261.4(b)(12)). 

The above cited Federal Register is available at the following URL:

Additional guidance on the CFC exclusion is available in the following document:

Memo, Shapiro to Wolf; August 22, 1994 (RCRA Online 14323
Monthly Call Center Report Question; September 1992 (RCRA Online13560

These guidance documents are available in the RCRA Online database at the following URL:

Have more questions? Submit a request