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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

  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011a 2012 2013 2014 2015
Number of Partners and Affiliates 9 16 23 34 44 50 54 54 51
Number of Units Processed
Refrigerators 166,557 418,223 644,751 669,523 815,595 794,113 811,458 837,364 725,467
Stand-alone freezers 9,316 81,592 35,356 63,387 82,367 84,063 89,905 91,449 73,656
Window air conditioners 290 5,608 2,136 2,376 5,253 7,321 7,474 7,113 7,817
Dehumidifiers 0 533 55 156 878 1,180 2,054 2,158 3,250
Stratospheric Ozone Benefits
Ozone benefits (ODP-weighted tons avoided)a 89b 153 148 151 217 274 263 207 143
Climate Benefits
Emissions avoided by recovery of refrigerant and foam-blowing agent (MMTCO2e)b 0.6b 1.2 1.3 1.3 1.7 2.2 2.1 1.7 1.2
Emissions avoided by increased recycling of durable goods <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 1.1 1.5 1.9 2.2 2.3 1.9 1.9 1.7 1.5
Durable Materials Recycled
Durable materials recycled (million lbs.) 27 87 110 118 147 148 150 155 137
Hazardous Substances Properly Treated
Used oil (thousand gal.) 31c 164c 46 43 59 77 74 76 59
Other hazardous components (thousand components) NAd NAd NAd 86 95 47 55 60 51

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 2007-2015 is shown below.

Refrigerants and Foam-Blowing Agents Recovered by RAD Partners, 2007-2015*

Refrigerants and Foam-Blowing Agents Recovered by RAD Partners, 2007-2014** No ozone benefits are associated with the reclamation/destruction of HFC-134a refrigerant or 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 1,645 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 2007-2015 are shown below.

GHG Emissions Avoided through Proper Appliance Disposal by RAD Partners, 2007-2015 (MTCO2eq.)

GHG Emissions Avoided through Proper Appliance Disposal by RAD Partners, 2007-2014

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
  2007 2008 2009 2010 2011a 2012 2013 2014 2015
Number of Units Retired
Refrigerators 166,557 214,373 250,314 254,962 273,520 294,019 310,620 334,115 309,008
Stand-alone freezers 9,316 12,530 6,703 44,434 48,614 78,705 78,967 59,154 49,947
Window air conditioners 290 1,407 1,186 1,223 1,712 3,062 3,221 3,339 3,389
Dehumidifiers 0 533 49 21 29 264 783 1,295 1,385
Energy Saved (billion kWhb) 1.7 2.4 2.7 3.0 3.2 2.6 2.7 2.4 2.2
Climate Benefits GHG emissions avoided (MMTCO2eqc) 1.1 1.5 1.9 2.2 2.3 1.9 1.9 1.7 1.5
Consumer Savings (million $) $146 $283 $320 $372 $424 $313 $319 $335 $307

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.

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

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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