RAD Environmental Benefits
Since the inception of the RAD Program, partners have successfully reduced emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and greenhouse gases (GHGs). Partners have also reduced energy consumption, increased the recycling of durable goods, and ensured the proper handling of hazardous substances. Annual environmental benefits achieved by RAD partners are summarized in the table below.
More information on these environmental benefits is provided below.
- Stratospheric Ozone Benefits (Bar Graph)
- Climate Benefits (Bar Graph)
- Energy Savings
- Other Environmental Benefits
|Number of Partners/Affiliates & Appliances Processed||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011|
|Number of Partners and Affiliates||9||16||23||34||44|
|Number of Units Processed|
|Window air conditioners||290||5,608||2,136||2,376||5,253|
|Ozone Benefits (ODP-weighted tons avoided)a||89b||153||148||151||330|
|Climate Benefits (MMTCO2e)c|
|Emissions avoided by recovery of refrigerant and foam-blowing agent (MMTCO2e)c||0.59b||1.17||1.25||1.41||2.21|
|Emissions avoided by increased recycling of durable goods (MMTCO2e)c||0.02||0.08||0.13||0.14||0.17|
|Reduced energy consumption through early appliance retirement (MMTCO2e)c||1.07||1.48||1.94||2.17||2.28|
|Durable Materials Recycled (lbs.)||27,334,500||87,066,400||110,032,700||118,260,300||144,534,600|
|Hazardous Substances Properly Treated|
|Used Oil (gal.)||31,000d||163,900d||45,700||43,400||58,200|
|Other Hazardous Components (lbs.)||1,500||14,100||215,100||86,400e||92,800e|
Stratospheric Ozone Benefits
RAD partners reduce emissions of ODS by recovering and reclaiming or destroying ODS refrigerant (CFC-12, HCFC-22) and foam-blowing agent (CFC-11, HCFC-141b) contained in household appliances. The quantity of refrigerant and foam-blowing agent recovered and properly handled by RAD partners in 2007-2011 is shown below.
Refrigerants and Foam-Blowing Agent Reclaimed or Destroyed by RAD Partners, 2007-2011*
By avoiding the release of CFC and HCFC refrigerant and foam-blowing agent, an estimated 330 ozone depletion potential (ODP)-weighted tons of emissions were avoided in 2011, compared to 151 ODP-weighted tons in 2010, 148 ODP-weighted tons in 2009, 153 ODP-weighted tons in 2008, and 89 ODP-weighted tons in 2007. Although there is an increasing number of units collected, the stock of ODS-containing appliances per partner is decreasing in response to the phaseout under the Montreal Protocol. As the RAD program matures, the relative number of units collected per partner with CFC-based refrigerant and foam will continue to decrease until the full fleet of older CFC units reaches retirement. Meanwhile, the number of retired units with HFC refrigerant and HCFC-based foams will continue to increase.
The recovery of CFC, HCFC, and HFC refrigerants and foam-blowing agents from household appliances results in significant climate benefits, as these substances are all potent GHGs. In addition, the recycling of durable materials from appliances results in lower emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) associated with the generation of electricity, which would have otherwise been needed to produce virgin materials. The total GHG emissions avoided through refrigerant recovery, foam recovery, and durable goods recycling by RAD partners in 2007-2011 are shown below.
GHG Emissions Avoided through Proper Appliance Disposal by RAD Partners, 2007-2011
For utilities, appliance recycling programs can be an important component of a successful demand side management (DSM) program. Replacing old, inefficient refrigerant-containing appliances reduces the amount of electricity needed to power them and, therefore, the amount of CO2 emissions released. By collecting old, inefficient appliances for proper disposal, RAD’s utility partners have generated the benefits summarized in the table below. As shown, the energy savings realized by RAD utility partners, as well as the associated climate benefits and consumer savings, have increased steadily over the last five years.
|Benefits from Early Appliance Retirement||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011|
|Number of Units Retired Prematurely|
|Window air conditioners||290||1,407||1,186||1,223||1,712|
|Energy Saved (billion kilowatt hours [kWh])||1.70||2.36||2.71||3.03||3.17|
|Climate Benefits (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent [MTCO2e])||1,073,700||1,484,900||1,944,600||2,172,900||2,278,300|
Other Environmental Benefits
RAD partners further protect the environment by keeping recyclable materials—such as glass, plastics, and metals—out of landfills and by ensuring the proper handling of hazardous wastes—namely used oil from compressors, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from capacitors, and mercury from thermostatic switches. As shown below, RAD partners have recovered significant quantities of these materials.
|Handling of Durable Goods and Hazardous Substances||2007||2008||2009||2010||2011|
|Durable Materials Recycled (lbs.)|
|Proper Treatment of Hazardous Substances|
|Used oil (gal)||31,000a||163,900a||45,700||43,400||58,200|
|PCB-containing capacitors (lbs.)||1,400||8,200||213,500||45,000b||48,400b|
|Mercury-containing components (lbs.)||100||5,900||1,600||41,400b||44,400b|
a Quantity of used oil was reported in pounds by RAD Partners in 2007 and 2008; these were converted to gallons using a conversion of 7.2 lb/gal of crude oil.
b Beginning in 2010, PCB-containing capacitors and mercury-containing components were reported in units and not pounds.
Outlook for the Future
Looking ahead, the RAD Program will continue to expand its membership and increase the environmental benefits achieved each year. The RAD Program is gaining momentum as industry and appliance owners alike learn about the importance of proper disposal and do what they can to address the problem. As of September 2012, 49 RAD partners and affiliates have joined the program.