Louisville, Kentucky - Appliance maker GE has become a partner with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) WasteWise Program - a voluntary initiative focused on waste reduction and saving environmental resources while reducing emissions.
GE also has a partnership with EPA's SmartWay Program to help lower transport-related emissions.
These initiatives add to company's existing partnership in the ENERGY STAR and Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Programs: GE claims to be the only appliance manufacturer to take part in all four initiatives.
"By participating in these four programmes, we have made a voluntary commitment to both the EPA and our customers to report how we have improved performance on a variety of environmental metrics," said Mark Shirkness, general manager, distribution services, GE Appliances
Through RAD and WasteWise, GE has made a commitment to significantly reduce the landfill waste of appliance disposal.
GE quotes figures showing that 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 manufacturer that recycles.
GE has an agreement with the Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) involving the Philadelphia-based ARCA Advanced Processing (AAP) recycling centre. As a result, GE and ARCA have already reduced landfill waste of appliances processed at AAP by about 318 000 lb (144 tonnes) monthly -- estimated at more than 3.8 million lb annually.
Waste reduction will come from processing fridge insulating foam and plastic through the UNTHA Recycling Technology (URT) system, which helps reduce landfill waste of a refrigerator by 85 percent by weight - or from 55 lb to less than 8 lb of waste per fridge.
The programme will also recover appliance materials that were previously landfilled, including plastics, circuit boards, glass, pelletised foam, and more. Since April 2011, AAP has diverted 2.3 million pounds of plastics for recycling.