Some important household appliances like refrigerators and air conditioners are now considered to be dangerous because they contain coolants that can contaminate almost everything from air to soil.
These appliances are gods in the home but they become demons when they are thrown out. Disposal of these appliances is similar to nuclear disposal – which requires care and attention.
Recycling these appliances is hard because one has to carefully remove the usable part of the appliance without releasing the harmful substance. Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) and GE has come up with a recycling technology which efficiently recycles these refrigerators.
This marvelous technology has kept 6 Million pounds of the refrigerator and other hazardous material out of U.S landfills.
GE reports that approximately 9 million refrigerators are disposed annually in U.S. and most of the refrigerator is simply shredded for its metal while the foam and hazard occupies the landfill. URT (UNTHA recycling technology) is a 50 foot tall machine designed specifically to deal with large appliances and reduce them to smaller components without much strain.
Instead of taking hours to disassemble the appliance, carefully removing the ozone-depleting refrigerants, PCBs, mercury and oil that may be lurking inside, the URT system can process an entire refrigerator in about a minute flat. In that short time the URT recovers around 95 percent of the insulating foam in the refrigerators and freezers, 100 percent of which is then reused in new products or as fuel.
This fascinating approach saves 50 pounds of materials from a recycled refrigerator that in most cases goes straight into a landfill.
The steps involved in recycling these items are as follows :
1. Refrigerator Pick-up : The used refrigerator is picked up and sent to a dedicated ARCA recycling center.
2. Remove Refrigerants : Refrigerants and recoverable components are removed before the refrigerator is processed. This initiative will reduce the weight of typical refrigerator landfill waste by approximately 85%.
3. Remove Greenhouse Gas: The greenhouse gases from the foam are captured in a sealed system. Approximately 95% of the insulating foam is recovered, compressed and can then be used as fuel.
4. Recycle: The remaining metals, compressed foam pellets, and plastics are separated for recycling.