“What can I do to cut refrigerator landfill waste?”
Yeah, I’d never asked myself that either. In fact, I’ve never even thought about what happens to refrigerators after they get carted off to the city dump or wherever old refrigerators go. I know vaguely about freon (the fridge that came with the condo had dripped greenly onto the floor) and why you shouldn’t climb into an old refrigerator, but that’s about it as far as my Superior Fridge Knowledge was concerned.
What I also didn’t know was that “nine million refrigerators are disposed of annually in the U.S.” Wow. Or that while the metal for 90% of them gets recycled, the insulating foam in the walls and doors does not. Guess what that insulating foam does in the landfill shredding process? It releases lovely little greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere to the point where had it recycled instead, “the greenhouse gas emissions avoided would be equivalent to the annual CO2-e emissions of more than 2.4 million cars on U.S. roads.”
That’s a lot of cars. That’s a lot of emissions!
I somewhat facetiously asked my opening question, but GE has already seriously answered it. They already have an ecomagination line of technologies going for them, but now they’ve become the “first appliance manufacturer to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency’s program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and landfill waste.” They are also working with Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA).
What this means is they will use the ARCA system “to reduce the typical landfill waste of a refrigerator by approximately 85 percent by weight.”
That’s a hefty percentage!
What do you think? Or would you rather see appliances that actually last for a lifetime and be cost-effective to repair, thus reducing their landfilling rate to start with?
Here’s the full article over at GE Reports: