We may take safe refrigerant destruction for granted in our part of the world, but Cuba has joined a handful of nations in the Caribbean region capable of safely destroying ozone-depleting substances (ODS).
According to Granma (the official voice of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee), Cuba destroyed 258.4 kilograms of ODS in the first nine months of this year, a small but meaningful amount that will escalate as refrigerants recovered under the island republic’s Energy Revolution project are processed.
The ambitious energy scheme, established at the turn of the Millennium, took less than three years to replace 2.5 million domestic refrigerators and 300,000 residential air conditioning systems, eliminating the use of CFC refrigerants from domestic refrigeration.
Next, the HCFCs in remaining equipment will be destroyed. A purpose-built facility within a cement factory uses Japanese technology to destroy ODS in kilns.
In addition to the Energy Revolution scheme, Cuba has a good track record when it comes to phasing out ODS, having eliminated CFCs from the production of pharmaceutical and industrial aerosols.
Another ODS, methyl bromide, has also been removed from crop fumigation, warehouses and industrial facilities.