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Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD)

Program Results

Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program logoSince the inception of the RAD program, partners have successfully reduced emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODS) and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Partners have also reduced energy consumption, increased the recycling of durable goods, and ensured the proper handling of hazardous substances.

Annual Environmental Benefits Achieved by RAD Partners

  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011a 2010 2009 2008 2007
Number of Partners and Affiliates 44 43 49 51 54 54 50 44 34 23 16 9
 
Refrigerators 561,082 489,097 499,624 725,467 837,364 811,458 794,113 815,595 669,523 644,751 418,223 166,557
Stand-alone freezers 71,686 58,721 45,049 73,656 91,449 89,905 84,063 82,367 63,387 35,356 81,592 9,316
Window air conditioners 17,680 10,193 6,458 7,817 7,113 7,474 7,321 5,253 2,376 2,136 5,608 290
Dehumidifiers 8,164 3,518 1,648 3,250 2,158 2,054 1,180 878 156 55 533 0
 
Ozone benefits (ODP-weighted tons avoided)a 89 67 76 143 207 263 274 217 151 148 153 89b
 
Emissions avoided by recovery of refrigerant and foam-blowing agent (MMTCO2e)b 0.8 0.7 0.7 1.2 1.7 2.1 2.2 1.7 1.3 1.3 1.2 0.6b
Emissions avoided by increased recycling of durable goods 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 <0.1
Reduced energy consumption through early appliance retirement (MMTCO2e)b 1.5 1.1 0.7 1.5 1.7 1.9 1.9 2.3 2.2 1.9 1.5 1.1
 
Durable materials recycled (million lbs.) 104 94 94 137 155 150 148 147 118 110 87 27
 
Used oil (thousand gal.) 50 44 43 59 76 74 77 59 43 46 164c 31c
Other hazardous components (thousand components) 36 39 46 51 60 55 47 95 86 NAd NAd NAd

a Due to corrections in partner data reporting, the benefits shown here differ from those presented in the 2011 Annual Report.
b ODP = ozone depletion potential.
c MMTCO2eq = million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
d NA= not available; hazardous components were reported in pounds prior to 2010. Reported quantities were 1,500 lbs. in 2007, 14,090 lbs. in 2008, and 215,200 lbs. in 2009.

Stratospheric Ozone Benefits

RAD partners reduce emissions of ODS by recovering and reclaiming or destroying ODS refrigerant (CFC-12, HCFC-22) and foam-blowing agent (CFC-11, HCFC-141b) contained in household appliances. The quantity of refrigerant and foam-blowing agent recovered and properly handled by RAD partners in 2007-2018 is shown below.

Refrigerants and Foam-Blowing Agents Recovered by RAD Partners, 2007-2018*

Refrigerants and Foam-Blowing Agents Recovered by RAD Partners, 2007-2018*No ozone benefits are associated with the reclamation/destruction of HFC-134a and R-410A refrigerant or HFC-134a and HFC-245fa foam-blowing agent, although significant climate benefits are realized (see section below).

By avoiding the release of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) and hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant and foam-blowing agent, the program has avoided an estimated 1,877 ODP-weighted tons of ODS emissions since its inception. The majority of refrigerant and foam-blowing agents recovered since 2007 were CFCs. This is the result of RAD partners’ efforts to target older, inefficient units. In the coming years, more hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) units will be retired. Proper handling of HFC refrigerants and blowing agents at end-of-life will reduce GHG emissions.

Climate Benefits

The recovery of CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants and foam-blowing agents from household appliances results in significant climate benefits, as these substances are all potent GHGs. In addition, the recycling of durable materials from appliances results in lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with the generation of electricity, which would have otherwise been needed to produce virgin materials. The total GHG emissions avoided through refrigerant recovery, foam recovery, and durable goods recycling by RAD partners in 2007-2018 are shown below.

GHG Emissions Avoided through Proper Appliance Disposal by RAD Partners, 2007-2018 (MTCO2eq.)

GHG Emissions Avoided through Proper Appliance Disposal by RAD Partners, 2007-2018

Energy Savings

For utilities, appliance recycling programs can be an important component of a successful demand-side management program. Replacing old, inefficient refrigerant-containing appliances reduces the amount of electricity needed to power them, and thus the amount of CO2 emitted. By collecting old, inefficient appliances for proper disposal, RAD’s utility partners have generated the benefits summarized in the table below.

Benefits from Early Appliance Retirement by RAD Partners
  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011a 2010 2009 2008 2007
Number of Units Retired
Refrigerators 265,204 201,328 141,474 309,008 334,115 310,620 273,520 294,019 254,962 250,314 214,373 166,557
Stand-alone freezers 55,108 39,404 26,991 49,947 59,154 78,967 48,614 78,705 44,434 6,703 12,530 9,316
Window air conditioners 13,880 8,085 3,920 3,389 3,339 3,221 1,712 3,062 1,223 1,186 1,407 290
Dehumidifiers 6,635 3,339 832 1,385 1,295 783 29 264 21 49 533 0
Energy Saved (billion kWhb) 2.1 1.5 0.9 2.2 2.4 2.7 3.2 2.6 3.0 2.7 2.4 1.7
Climate Benefits GHG emissions avoided (MMTCO2eqc) 1.5 1.1 0.7 1.5 1.7 1.9 2.3 1.9 2.2 1.9 1.5 1.1
Consumer Savings (million $) $290 $202 $123 $307 $335 $319 $424 $313 $372 $320 $283 $146

a Due to corrections in partner data reporting, the benefits shown here differ from those presented in the 2011 Annual Report.
b kWh = kilowatt hours.
c MMTCO2eq = million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Other Environmental Benefits

RAD partners further protect the environment by keeping recyclable materials—such as glass, plastics, and metals—out of landfills and by ensuring the proper handling of hazardous wastes—namely used oil from compressors, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from capacitors, and mercury from thermostatic switches. As shown below, RAD partners have recovered significant quantities of these materials.

  2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011a 2010 2009 2008 2007
 
Ferrous metals (million lbs.) 77 69 73 112 123 119 107 117 85 78 73 23
Non-ferrous metals (million lbs.) 5 4 4 5 6 6 18 6 16 16 2 1
Plastic (million lbs.) 20 17 15 17 23 21 19 22 15 14 10 3
Glass (million lbs.) 2 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 0.4
 
Used oil (thousand gal.) 50 44 43 59 76 74 59 77 43 46 164 31
PCB-containing capacitors (thousand capacitors) 20 19 27 31 43 42 50 44 45 NAb NAb NAb
Mercury-containing components (thousand components) 16 20 19 20 18 13 46 4 41 NAc NAc NAc

a Due to corrections in partner data reporting, the benefits shown here differ from those presented in the 2011 Annual Report.
b NA= not available; PCB-containing capacitors were reported in pounds prior to 2010. Reported quantities were 1,400 lbs. in 2007, 8,200 lbs. in 2008, and 213,500 lbs. in 2009.
c NA= not available; mercury-containing components were reported in pounds prior to 2010. Reported quantities were 100 lbs. in 2007, 5,900 lbs. in 2008, and 1,600 lbs. in 2009.

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