Get $10 Cash for Your Each Used R134a Can

The non-profit Car Care Council has launched a new consumer education campaign in California to remind automotive do-it-yourselfers who recharged their vehicle’s air conditioning system themselves using small containers of r134a refrigerant to return the empty used refrigerant containers for a $10 refund where they purchased the product.

The purpose of the campaign, which is endorsed by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), is to address the fact that each year thousands of vehicle owners and operators in California elect to recharge their vehicle’s air conditioner themselves. Small containers of r134a refrigerant are purchased from auto parts stores and other retail businesses.

“Due to concerns that the small containers typically are not completely emptied during the recharging process and that unused refrigerant could be vented to the atmosphere or the used cans could be thrown away rather than properly recycled, CARB established a regulation to reduce emissions,” said Rich White, Car Care Council executive director.

The regulation calls for a deposit and recycling program in conjunction with a consumer education campaign. Requirements for the deposit and return of containers calls for auto parts stores and other retail businesses to collect a $10 deposit from the consumer at the time of the sale, then return the deposit to the consumer upon receipt of the used container.

The campaign, called “Cash in the Can,” includes radio, television and billboard advertisements throughout California along with social media outreach and special events and promotions. For more information visit

3 thoughts on “Get $10 Cash for Your Each Used R134a Can”

  1. This makes no sense. If I use half a can of freon and take my can tap out to return it to the store (you only have 30 days to do this), all the freon goes into the atmosphere anyway. If I keep the can with the can tap installed, I can use the rest later. I would also like to know where the ten dollars goes when a can is not returned. Sounds like a new source of income for someone.

  2. How does collecting a 10 dollar deposit for the can prevent the end-consumer from venting the can to the atmosphere? This simply inconveniences the consumer, making them return to the store 2 times wasting fuel and creating more exhaust emissions in the process. This was not well thought out at all.

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