GE Appliance & Lighting launched a new initiative this month to encourage retail participation in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Responsible Appliance Disposal program (RAD).
GE is the only appliance maker to date to participate in the program, which in part promotes the responsible disposal of refrigerators and refrigeration insulating foam to help protect the ozone layer and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
GE said it will help majap dealers establish a RAD program partnership by facilitating the retailer’s relationship with EPA and Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA), one of the nation’s largest recyclers of major household appliances for electric utilities’ energy conservation programs.
ARCA is also the exclusive North American distributor for UNTHA Recycling Technology (URT), a materialsrecovery system for household refrigeration appliances that extracts about 95 percent of their insulating foam to reduce typical refrigerator landfill waste by 85 percent by weight, and reduces GHG and ozone-depleting substance (ODS) emissions recovered from insulating foam.
Under the GE initiative, ARCA will haul away a retailer’s used appliance volume, including all major household appliance types, for delivery to ARCA’s Advanced Processing facility (AAP), here, and will support the retailer in reporting environmental metrics annually to the EPA.
GE will also provide RAD program retail partners with in-store point-of-purchase materials, online marketing and advertising, and other marketing assistance.
GE announced the initiative, and the participation of The Home Depot, at the AAP facility, here, where guests saw the recycling center’s 40-foot tall URT system in operation. ARCA also announced the addition of six states to APP’s service territory, bringing the total to 12 states. The new additions include Connecticut Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
“Helping retailers get involved in EPA’s RAD program will differentiate them from their competitors,” noted Mark Shirkness, general manager, distribution services, GE Appliances & Lighting. “As the first manufacturer to partner with EPA’s RAD program, GE is leveraging its relationships with ARCA, AAP and the EPA to get appliance retailers involved in appliance recycling so they can deliver a much-desired service to consumers.”
Indeed, according to a 2010 survey conducted by The Stevenson Company for GE Appliances & Lighting, 70 percent of consumers want all or part of their appliances recycled, and 82 percent will go out of their way to purchase from a retailer that recycles. Sixty-seven percent of customers are also willing to pay more for an appliance if a retailer offers recycling programs, the survey showed.