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Environment Matters Audio Podcast

Environment Matters
EPA Region 3
Topic: Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD)
Size: : 3,762k
Time: 03:58

Date: May 15, 2013

Host: Have you ever wondered what happens to older, used appliances that are  replaced by newer more efficient units?  Through EPA's Responsible Appliance Disposal program , refrigerators, freezers, and many other appliances are recycled using state of the art technology to remove reusable materials and substances that are harmful to the earth’s atmosphere. 

[opening music]

Host: Hello, I'm Gail Scott of EPA's Mid-Atlantic Region, and welcome to Environment Matters, our series of environmental podcasts.

Our first guest is RAD partner Ron Jarvis, Vice President of Merchandising and Environmental Innovation of the Home Depot.

Ron Jarvis: We look at sustainability across all avenues at Home Depot and one of the things we try to make sure we check on is the life cycle of products after the consumer buys them and leaves The Home Depot. So we look at multiple recycle programs across the U.S. whether its carpet or paint or appliances. And the RAD program was in our minds one of the best ways that we as a company could push sustainability through our supply chain.   When consumers buy a new Energy Star qualified refrigerator at one of the 433 participating Home Depot stores in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, they can also take advantage of a no-charge haul away of their old, inefficient unit. 

Host: Here is Brian Conners, President and Chief Operating Officer of ARCA Advanced Processing, who talks to us about their amazing facility in Philadelphia.

Brian Conners: When refrigerators come to our facility they’re unloaded from trucks, we sort them based on the types of refrigerants that are contained in them, we remove the shelving, we remove the glass, we remove the refrigerants, the oils, the compressors, and then the units are ready to enter our URT system where further shredding and reduction allows us to separate the metals, plastics, and foam insulation. What differentiates our process from standard UR recycling process is the capability to recover insulating foam and extract the blowing agent in a fully automated process while recovering the plastics for recycling. The URT’s fully enclosed management of refrigerators and freezers help reduce emissions of greenhouse gasses and ozone depleting substances.

Host: Finally,  Christi Wantuck, Program Manager for Recycling of General Electric Appliances. Christi can you tell us about GE’s collaboration?

Christi Wantuck: I’d be happy to, Gail. In 2011, GE Appliances became the first manufacturer to partner on the RAD program, because we understand that many consumers desire that their appliance be recycled. GE and The Home Depot are providing convenient removal of consumer’s older, used appliances coupled with responsible recycling and in turn helping protect our environment.  Our coordinated efforts with ARCA and The Home Depot have diverted an estimated 5.5 million pounds of refrigerator and freezer materials from our U.S. landfills. In the process, we’re helping protect our air and water by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, and protecting our environment for future generations.

Host: Thank you, Christi.  RAD has partners in more than 50 utilities, retailers, manufacturers, and state affiliates.  While we’re talking about the RAD program, let me remind you that EPA has a lot of information on ways you can be responsible in disposing your waste and recycling. 

[closing music]

Host:  If you would like more information, or are interested in partnering with EPA’s RAD program visit www.epa.gov/rad.  Thanks for joining us on Environment Matters.

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