EPA, Southern California Edison mark recycling of 1 million refrigerators

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$1 billion in energy costs, 3.9 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions offset so far

COMPTON, Calif. -- Southern California Edison (SCE), one of the founding partners of U.S. EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program and a 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence award winner, today reached a national conservation milestone by crushing its 1 millionth refrigerator. SCE is the first utility to achieve the 1 million mark. The event was held at an Appliance Recycling Centers of America facility that recycles household refrigerators and freezers, using best available environmental practices.

As one of EPA’s 47 RAD partners, SCE’s recycling efforts have avoided emissions of more than 177,000 pounds of substances that harm the ozone layer, and about 3.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing 760,000 cars from the road.

“We congratulate SoCal Edison and its customers for their efforts to protect our atmosphere and conserve energy,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The recycling of a million appliances makes a difference to the environment by safely disposing ozone-destroying refrigerants, mercury and toxic PCBs.”

Since 1994, SCE customers have recycled a million appliances, preserving 7.9 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity – or $1 billion in energy savings for SCE customers. Emissions avoided by taking those inefficient refrigerators and freezers off the grid equal:

Planting 140 million trees.

Powering 1.1 million California homes for a year.

Removing 760,000 cars from the road.

'The credit for this milestone goes to our customers for their enthusiastic participation,” said Gene Rodrigues, SCE director of Energy Efficiency and Customer Solar. “SCE's energy efficiency programs are crucial to the success of California’s ambitious environmental goals.”

Without programs such as this one, old refrigerators and freezers may be disposed in unsafe, environmentally unfriendly ways, or sold secondhand (in Southern California, for example, an old inefficient refrigerator can waste up to $180 a year in electricity costs). These efforts work to recover and reclaim or destroy ozone-depleting substances from old household appliances, minimizing harmful emissions and keeping recyclables out of landfills. It is illegal to dump a refrigerator in a California landfill.

SCE’s Appliance Recycling Program offers customers $35 for their old, working refrigerators or freezers, and free pickup. Those who want to learn more about SCE’s refrigerator recycling may visit www.sce.com/pickup, or call 800-324-9722.

To thank its customers for reaching this conservation milestone, SCE is giving away an ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerator. Customers can enter through July 31 at www.facebook.com/socaledison, and talk about appliance recycling on Twitter with the hashtag #SCEfridge. SCE also has a short movie about the recycling process on its YouTube channel.

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