As of 1995, all refrigeration units must have the refrigerant reclaimed before the unit can be trashed. A service company must do this with specialized equipment. Since this ruling caused most of us to have to buy very expensive reclaiming equipment, the cost has to be passed on to the customer.
You can thank your federal government (EPA) for this surcharge. After all the hysteria regarding the elimination of Freon 12 in 1994 and changing all the laws and restrictions, it has later been determined that R-12 was not as big a contributor to global warming as thought. I saw this as a strategy by Dupont De Nemours to invent and market the new refrigerant. (R134a)