Americans toss out 9 million refrigerators a year. But instead of going to landfills, many of the unwanted fridges are now going through a fearsome 40-foot tall shredder in Philadelphia at a rate of about one every 50 seconds. The process can recover roughly 95 percent the foam and dangerous chemicals in the fridges.
In 2009, GE partnered with Appliance Recycling Centers of America to collect old refrigerators from customers who buy a new one at select retailers. The shredder came online last summer and, since them it has chewed up 100,000 old iceboxes and diverted 5.5 million pounds of foam and plastics from the landfill.
“GE is the first and only appliance manufacturer to implement the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program,” says Mark Vachon, GE’s vice president for ecomagination. “We are reducing emissions of ozone depleting substances, greenhouse gasses and the amount of waste entering our landfills, and protecting our air and water.”
Read more about the refrigerator shredder at GE Reports.