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GE Joins EPA’s WasteWise, SmartWay Initiatives

GE Appliances has partnered with the EPA in the agency’s WasteWise and SmartWay programs, pledging to reduce landfill waste and emissions.

Already an Energy Star and Responsible Appliance Disposal program partner, GE is the first and only appliance manufacturer to participate in all four voluntary EPA initiatives.

GE says it will reduce waste by processing refrigerator insulating foam and plastic through a UNTHA Recycling Technology system (pictured), which helps reduce refrigerators’ landfill waste by 85 percent by weight, from 55 pounds of landfill waste per refrigerator to less than eight. It will also recover appliance product materials that were previously landfilled, including plastics, circuit boards, glass and pelletized foam.

GE and the Appliance Recycling Centers of America have reduced the landfill waste of appliances processed at the Philadelphia-based ARCA Advanced Processing by about 318,000 pounds monthly, the appliance manufacturer says. Since April 2011, AAP has diverted 2.3 million pounds of plastics for recycling, according to GE.

In addition to reducing its landfill waste, GE has pledged to use more sustainable transportation when moving appliances from manufacturing operations to retailers and consumers. Of the 144 million miles or so that GE’s inbound appliance parts and appliances traveled in the US in 2010, 80  were with EPA-certified SmartWay carrier partners. The EPA collects emissions data and ranks SmartWay partners’ performance weekly.

In March, GE Appliances & Lighting won a 2011 Energy Star Award for Sustained Excellence. EPA recognized GE for several achievements including:

  • Offering a total of 500 Energy Star lighting models, a 29 percent increase since 2010.
  • Adding 93 new LED products since 2010.
  • Introducing 140 new Energy Star appliances in 2011, while increasing the number of base models 17 percent over 2010.
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