It's getting easier to recycle your old appliances

Consumer Reports News: September 09, 2011 01:23 PM

Consumer Reports' refrigerator Ratings put a premium on energy efficiency. The vast majority of models we recommend scored very good or better in our energy-use tests. But in terms of total environmental impact, it also matters what happens to the old refrigerator you're replacing, which is why we applaud the latest expansion of the Environmental Protection Agency's Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program.

Under the voluntary RAD program, partners agree to recover most of the components of appliances collected through their haul-away programs. Earlier this year, GE became the first manufacturer to join the program, and through its partnership with Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA), is credited with expanding the number of recycling services in many states. Most recently, GE teamed up with the Home Depot, bringing the retail giant into RAD by allowing the use of GE's appliance delivery and haul-away service. That means if you purchase any refrigerator from the Home Depot, the old one they haul away will end up at an EPA-approved recycling facility. Sears, Best Buy, and the ApplianceSmart Factory Outlet are RAD's other retail partners.

Utility companies still form the core of the RAD program, with nearly 40 partnerships nationwide. These utilities often give customers a rebate for taking their old energy-hog refrigerators off the grid, so it's worth checking the EPA's RAD program website to see if your company is on the partners and affiliates page.

Daniel DiClerico


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