LOUISVILLE, Ky. (May 11, 2012) —GE announced today that it 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 announced its partnership with EPA’s SmartWay® Program to help lower transportation-related emissions.
Already an ENERGY STAR® External link and Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program External link partner, GE is the first and only appliance manufacturer to partner collectively on all four of these environmental-impact initiatives.
“Customers care about the environmental impact of the products they purchase, and at GE, we’re committed to reducing that impact,” said Mark Shirkness, general manager, distribution services, GE Appliances. “By participating in these four programs, 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.”
Wise about waste
Today, 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.
Partnering with the RAD External link and WasteWise Programs, GE will significantly reduce the landfill waste of appliance disposal. Through GE’s agreement with the Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) involving the Philadelphia-based ARCA Advanced Processing (AAP) recycling center, GE and ARCA already have reduced the landfill waste of appliances processed at AAP by approximately 318,000 pounds monthly – which is estimated to be more than 3.8 million pounds annually.
Waste reductions will come from:
• Processing refrigerator 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 pounds to less than eight pounds of waste per refrigerator;
• The recovery of multiple appliance product materials that previously were landfilled, including plastics, circuit boards, glass, pelletized foam and more. Since April 2011, AAP has diverted 2.3 million pounds of plastics for recycling.
In addition to reporting on the Philadelphia location as part of the WasteWise and RAD programs, GE will report waste-reduction and recycling efforts for its Appliance Park manufacturing facility in Louisville, Ky., and the company’s refrigerator manufacturing plant in Bloomington, Ind. Teams are focused on determining uses for landfill waste, including plastics and glass, and are actively developing processes to track and recover such materials.
On top of reducing landfill waste, GE Applicance also is committed to more sustainable transportation when moving appliances from manufacturing operations to retailers and consumers.
Of the approximate 144 million miles that GE’s inbound appliance parts and appliances traveled in the U.S. annually in 2010, 80 percent of those miles were with EPA SmartWay® carrier partners, which are distinguished by their measured commitment to environmental performance and fuel efficiency.