Freon Alternative ways to recycle Special Instructions Not Safe to Handle Physical contact or inhaling freon — even for a moment — is extremely dangerous. Do not allow it to leak into the environment. Freon can quickly cause permanent health effects ranging from organ damage to death. Do not attempt to handle freon at home. Illegal to Remove at Home Freon is highly dangerous and regulated by the EPA. It is illegal to remove freon from an appliance unless you are a Section 608 certified professional. Find a RAD Partner to Dispose The EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) partners are certified to accept freon-containing appliances. Find a RAD partner program. Alternative Ways to Recycle California Refrigerant Can Recycling Program In California, used auto refrigerant cans can be returned to the store originally purchased for a return on your deposit. Cans can also be taken to any store where cans are sold. Partially full and empty cans are accepted. There is no time limit on returning a refrigerant can. Learn more. New Appliance Programs When you buy a new appliance, most retailers and installers will offer to take away your old one for free or a small fee. Large freon-containing appliances such as refrigerators and air conditioners can be recycled through this option. Did You Know? What Is Freon? Freon is the trademarked name for a class of refrigerants. They are chemical compounds also known as HFCs, CFCs or HCFCs. What Appliances Contain Freon? Appliances that contain freon include air conditioners (ACs), refrigerators and freezers.