Ever really think about this? Honestly, probably not, but I thought I would tell you anyway!
As you can imagine a company our size accumulates quite alot of old equipment, parts and pieces. An Air Conditioning and Heating system is built to last while sitting outside in the elements, 100 degrees for months , then 25 degrees, then rain, hail, reckless lawn mowers, weed eaters, your kids and of course dog pee! They are also built to transfer heat, therefore these systems are built out of metal, specifically, Steel, Copper and Aluminum. All of these metals are recyclable and have a certain amount of monetary value on the scrap metal market.
The first thing that we do is to remove all of the refrigerant (freon) that might be left in the system. That refrigerant gets captured and cleaned to a high standard, then re-used as new refrigerant.
We then disassemble the equipment, removing the capacitors and other items that the scrap yard will not take and separate all of the steel, the clean copper, and the copper/aluminum coils. These all get recycled and made into anything from a new car to a Pepsi can.