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1 Millionth Recycled Refrigerator

2012 May 30

By Gene Rodrigues

Last week was a huge milestone for Southern California Edison — we recycled our 1 millionth refrigerator. A million refrigerators is enough to fill a football stadium.

Partners from EPA’s ENERGY STAR and Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) programs and the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) helped us celebrate at the Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) facility in Compton, Calif. Jared Blumenfeld, the administrator of EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region, joined us to watch the ceremonial appliance crushing.

We are proud to have been one of the founding partners of EPA’s RAD program. In fact, I was at the launch event in October 2006. Since then, we’ve continued to be a leader in ensuring that old, inefficient fridges are taken off the grid and properly recycled. That includes recovering harmful substances found in the refrigerant and insulating foam.

As a RAD partner, we’ve avoided emissions of more than 170,000 pounds of substances that harm the ozone layer, and about 3.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. That’s the equivalent of removing 760,000 cars from the road.

In celebrating this milestone, SCE must also give credit to the California Public Utilities Commission and the NRDC, two organizations that provide incredible support for policies that encourage energy efficiency. And of course, without ARCA, and our other recycling partners, a million refrigerators could be disposed improperly, creating extensive damage to the environment.

ARCA began operations in California in 1993 as part of the Rebuild Los Angeles initiative following the civil unrest that occurred at that time. Since then, SCE’s recycling program provided nearly 75 percent of this facility’s business, with 63 full-time employees dedicated to the SCE work – with a 25 percent increase in staff during the busy summer months. For many of these employees, it’s the first time they worked for a company that offered healthcare, educational and vacation benefits.

If you’re curious about what refrigerator recycling looks like, here’s a short film featuring some major crushing action.

And finally, thank you to our customers and to utility customers across the nation who understand that the cleanest, cheapest kilowatt hour is the one you never use.

About the author: Gene Rodrigues, SCE Director, Customer Energy Efficiency and Solar

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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12 Responses leave one →
  1. Arman.- permalink
    May 30, 2012

    Send It To Us.-

    All of days our informal traders looking for a damaged refrigerator,AC, paper,fan and battery: to repair and to sell again to the people with the lower-price. I pray to the God, they become to the enthusiast entrepreneurs, and hoping that they should be create green economy and to be increase their skills and performances…..

  2. May 30, 2012

    Its really a resounding achievement to reach a million. In this day and age when there is so much to worry about our environment.The recycling project should be given all the support its needs and we hope to celebrate 10million soon.

  3. June 4, 2012

    It’s great to see more refrigerators being recycled. If more people would do their part by conserving this precious place we call earth then we wouldn’t have to see refrigerators on the side of rural roads and we would have less people with fewer respiratory problems.

  4. June 8, 2012

    This is good news. Usually these types of electronics get exported to third world countries. It is good to see products being recycled in the Unites States.
    Also a tip: If recycling electronics it is always a good idea to use a company complying with the R2 Standard.

  5. Charlie H permalink
    August 22, 2012

    Congratulations on your 1 millionth recycled refrigerator. I am in the appliance repair business and always try to recycle the appliances that can no longer be repaired. After all it is our planet and we should take care of it.

  6. CRE Credit Services permalink
    September 29, 2012

    This is very good news. It’s great to see more refrigerators being recycled.

  7. Proper Health Tips permalink
    November 9, 2012

    its we don’t need to throw any material or steel because it can be recycled now..nice post.

  8. united appliance repair permalink
    January 9, 2013

    Good idea! especially if it helps our economy to grow and become a full-time employee with many benefits.

  9. Alex permalink
    February 15, 2013

    Say “Yes” to recycling. Let’s go green! Also before throwing away your refrigerator, why not try to repair it?

  10. Appliance Repair permalink
    April 22, 2013

    One way to help ensure a future for our planet. Congrats on your 1 millionth recycled refrigerator.

  11. dishwasher repair san diego permalink
    May 2, 2013

    Its really a good news for me..Its more better being more refrigerators recycled. Keep it up.

  12. Cerlam permalink
    August 7, 2014

    This is very great news. It’s good to see more refrigerators being recycled.Thanks for the sharing

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