Project Description

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Finding Feral Freon

Submitted by: Clari Nolet, Rotary Club of Los Altos

Project Owner: Environmental Sustainability Rotary Action Group (ESRAG)

Project Description:

Help ESRAG slow global warming!
Finding and destroying CFCs is a huge, immediate win in slowing global warming: Under the Montreal Protocol, both the manufacture of CFC refrigerants, including CFC-12 (brand name FreonTM), and the manufacture of the products that use them, are now illegal because CFCs damage the ozone layer. These refrigerants (CFCs) are incredibly potent greenhouse gases (GHGs). The heat-trapping capacity of one pound (0.5 kg) of FreonTM is equivalent to as much as 11,000 pounds (kgs) of CO2.

Destroying CFCs has been ranked by Project Drawdown as one of the top most effective strategies to slow global warming.

Although CFCs are illegal to produce, no mandate was set in place for destroying existing global stockpiles. Now, the rapidly growing market in carbon offsets funds the capacity to find, purchase and destroy these stockpiles. Verifying the elimination of this extraordinarily potent GHG results in high-quality, immediate and permanent carbon offsets.

A single 30-pound cylinder of FreonTM, when it leaks, has the same greenhouse gas impact as burning all the gasoline in two tanker trailers. Cylinders of CFCs stored around the globe are a threat to our climate security. Proper collection and disposal of remaining stockpiles is the equivalent of eliminating over 2.5 years of global CO2 emissions.

Exciting partnerships with a global impact!

ESRAG has partnered with Tradewater, a mission-based company, to locate, purchase and assist in the collection and shipment to EPA approved destruction facilities, stockpiles of aging FreonTM cylinders. ESRAG is leveraging the power of the Rotary global network and capacity to collect aging cylinders of aging FreonTM for destruction. Together we can prevent 1,000,000 tons of GHGs from being released into the atmosphere by the end of 2021. FreonTM collection and destruction creates economic opportunities and protects the environment.

To this end, ESRAG offers Rotary Clubs a low cost, easy to implement, short-term pilot project with huge global impact. Expanding the network to collect and destroying Freon cylinders will set the stage to then collect and prevent a further 1M tons of greenhouse gases being released. An added benefit is that this project will create economic opportunity, while protecting the environment when we expand to less developed countries.

Stay tuned for new calculators and more on this exciting partnership and project.

For more information:

Project Website:

Project Contact:

  • Clari Nolet, Rotary Club of Los Altos,, (650) 224-4591