Why is recycling cooling appliances with GoRecycle important?

On average, when a cooling appliance such as a refrigerator or air conditioner is put out on the curb or sent to a metal recycling facility that does not recover the refrigerant gases and remove hazardous components, about one ton of greenhouse gas is released into the environment. We estimate that over 300,000 appliances are recycled this way in Quebec—the equivalent of adding 100,000 cars to the road every year.

As we fight climate change, it is imperative to ensure appliances are recycled responsibly. That’s why GoRecycle has implemented drop-off points throughout the province and recycling services that comply with regulatory requirements. Only GoRecycle offers this service for free in Quebec.

Are the appliances I leave on the curb recycled in accordance with regulations?

Unfortunately, no. Appliances put out on the curb are usually scrapped without properly removing refrigerants. Those gases, in addition to other hazardous materials such as the oils, are then released into the environment.

While some recyclers and refrigeration specialists remove gases from the lines, they do not have the technology to remove the refrigerant from the foam insulation of household appliances. Only GoRecycle offers a full and free degassing and recycling service that complies with Quebec regulations.

How does GoRecycle recycle cooling appliances?

Once collected, cooling appliances are transported to one of our six quebecers authorized recyclers. Appliances are processed by Puresphera in Bécancour and by five RIVRA authorized recyclers throughout Quebec to recover over 95% of materials.

What are ecofees?

Ecofees are the environmental handling fees applicable on the sale of new products to finance the recovery and recycling of household appliances in compliance with regulations.

Are ecofees a tax?

No, these are handling fees that are included in the sale price. They are taxable.

Why are ecofees not visible in the retail price contrary to electronics?

Ecofees are included in the retail price and invisible to consumers in compliance with the government guidelines of the financial aid program.

What are the applicable ecofees on products?

What products does GoRecycle handle?

What financial assistance does RECYC-QUÉBEC provide?

For every product recycled, RECYC-QUÉBEC provides financial assistance to reduce processing costs.

Financial assistance in 2021 and 2022 is as follows:

  • $40 per category 1 product as defined in the regulations.
  • $6 per category 3 product as defined in the regulations.
  • $11 per category 4 product as defined in the regulations.

By financing part of the processing costs, this financial assistance reduces program costs and contributes to limiting the impact of ecofees on consumers.

Starting in 2023, financial assistance will be multiplied by the effective recovery rate and a declining reimbursement rate.

For example, the reimbursement rate for 2023 is 90%. Therefore, if the recovery rate at that time is 25%, the financial assistance obtained for the recycling of a category 1 product would be $9 (i.e., $40 x 90% x 25% = $9).

Financial assistance does come with certain accountability requirements and requires that the ecofees included in retail prices remain invisible to consumers.

Does GoRecycle provide a home collection service?

GoRecycle does not currently offer a home collection service directly for citizens. However, GoRecycle works with most of its member retailers to offer consumers a home collection service for their old appliance when they buy a new one.

Are there any costs for recycling these appliances?

Citizens can drop off their refrigerators and air conditioners free of charge at official GoRecycle drop-off points. Additionally, customers purchasing a new refrigerator or freezer from participating retailers enjoy a free curbside removal collection and recycling service, provided the old appliance is already outside the residence. However, some retailers may charge a fee for removing the appliance from inside the residence. This service is optional.

Does GoRecycle handle commercial appliances?

No, GoRecycle focuses on household appliances only, whether sold to individuals or businesses. Commercial-type appliances are not included in GoRecycle’s program. For more information on these appliances, please contact RECYC-QUÉBEC.

Does GoRecycle handle through-the-wall air conditioners and heat pumps?

No. Even though these products are included in the regulation, they are excluded from the GoRecycle program as they are handled by refrigeration specialists according to the standards set by the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ). These standards state that a certified refrigeration specialist must handle the disposal of these appliances. They will ensure gases are removed and that appliances are properly disconnected before recycling. For more information, please consult the Corporation des entreprises de traitement de l’air et du froid (CETAF) and the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada (HRAI)

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