Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

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dorsalfin1234
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Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by dorsalfin1234 »

Hello expats! I'll be arriving in Cambodia next week to do some research and I'm wondering if anyone here is able to help me.

I'm interested in how refrigerators and air conditioners are disposed of - short version, the refrigerant they contain is a potent greenhouse gas and usually the refrigerant is emitted into the atmosphere when the device is sold for scrap. So I'm trying to learn about the bulk waste ecosystem in Cambodia and where these devices go when they are thrown out. Specifically I'm interested in meeting people who work either in waste management (industry, policy or NGO), or HVAC folks who might do repair on old ACs / refrigerator systems and be knowledgable about where those devices end up.

If this sounds even a little bit interesting to you, or you think you'd have anything useful to add about doing this kind of work in Cambodia -- I'd love to hear about it on this forum, or meet and chat! I'll be starting off in Siem Reap the weekend of 11/23 and then afterwards mostly based in PP.

First coffee or beer is on me :-).

PS Not sure if this deserved a separate thread, but I'm trying to figure out the best lodging situation - where would be the best place to find a weekly apartment rental (furnished)? I don't know exactly how long I'll be in-country and looking for something a bit more comfortable than a hostel.
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IraHayes
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by IraHayes »

Have considered a private room at a hostel?
The reason i mention this is that it will give you privacy and also a constant supply of people to hang out with in your free time and evenings. Now most backpackers get a lot of scorn on these forums since a small minority are indeed complete asshats but the majority are just people exploring the world for their own reasons.
You may also find a good hostel helpful for things you haven’t even thought of. Depends, of course, on the hostel. When I had my hostel I gave numerous people advice and information who were in the country for reasons other than simply travelling.
For example, you will probably need a guide/translator for your groundwork research. I am guessing you will be doing some footwork exploring the local businesses that are involved in waste management and repair of these appliances to get first hand knowledge of the process for waste management in Cambodia.
dorsalfin1234
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by dorsalfin1234 »

That's very helpful, thanks Ira. I do think I will need a guide/translator, do you have any advice on how to find such a person?
explorer
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by explorer »

It is normal for Cambodians to burn rubbish, including plastic bags. They don't understand or care if themselves and their neighbours breathe in the smoke. At one place, I suggested they could get the rubbish collected for a few dollars a month. But they would rather burn it than spend the money.

Those living near rivers, often throw rubbish in the rivers, and it washes out to sea.

If you look into the refrigerator and air conditioner industry, you are going go find they don't understand or care any more.

If you want to introduce any new procedure which will cost money, they wont want to spend the money.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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IraHayes
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by IraHayes »

dorsalfin1234 wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 9:37 am That's very helpful, thanks Ira. I do think I will need a guide/translator, do you have any advice on how to find such a person?

There are some professional translation businesses in PP but they will come at a cost and you initial post doesn’t scream “money to burn” so maybe look to a more informal arrangement with someone who has both the time and the proficiency in Khmer to help you.
The free time factor will be your stumbling block though.
Maybe try asking for suggestions on one of the Facebook groups... maybe one of the guys teaching Khmer to expats will take you up on the offer.
dorsalfin1234
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by dorsalfin1234 »

explorer wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 10:08 am If you look into the refrigerator and air conditioner industry, you are going go find they don't understand or care any more.

If you want to introduce any new procedure which will cost money, they wont want to spend the money.
Thanks for the perspective! Specifically for these bulk devices I suspect the story may be different since they are valuable as scrap metal. I could be wrong, of course, but that's part of what I'm trying to learn.
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by epidemiks »


explorer wrote:It is normal for Cambodians to burn rubbish, including plastic bags. They don't understand or care if themselves and their neighbours breathe in the smoke. At one place, I suggested they could get the rubbish collected for a few dollars a month. But they would rather burn it than spend the money.

Those living near rivers, often throw rubbish in the rivers, and it washes out to sea.

If you look into the refrigerator and air conditioner industry, you are going go find they don't understand or care any more.

If you want to introduce any new procedure which will cost money, they wont want to spend the money.

Cambodian throw nothing of value away. If they have no use for something, they sell it to echais, who will strip out the valuable parts and *then* throw the rest in the river.
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by explorer »

dorsalfin1234 wrote: Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:08 pm for these bulk devices I suspect the story may be different since they are valuable as scrap metal. I could be wrong, of course, but that's part of what I'm trying to learn.
Yes metal gets recycled.

Don't expect them to recycle the gas, unless there is money to be made by doing so.
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
explorer
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by explorer »

dorsalfin1234 wrote: Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:25 am I'm interested in how refrigerators and air conditioners are disposed of - short version, the refrigerant they contain is a potent greenhouse gas and usually the refrigerant is emitted into the atmosphere when the device is sold for scrap. So I'm trying to learn about the bulk waste ecosystem in Cambodia and where these devices go when they are thrown out. Specifically I'm interested in meeting people who work either in waste management (industry, policy or NGO), or HVAC folks who might do repair on old ACs / refrigerator systems and be knowledgable about where those devices end up.
I am trying to understand. What is the purpose of what you are doing? What are you trying to achieve?
## I thought I knew all the answers, but they changed all the questions. ##
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IraHayes
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Re: Bullk waste management / HVAC / refrigerant recycling

Post by IraHayes »

Did you read the OP?
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