Depending on the year they were originally manufactured, older refrigerators as well as freezers contain refrigerants or foam blowing agents which are harmful to the environment. Not only are these agents responsible for damage to the ozone layer they also contribute to climate change as both refrigerants and foam blowing agents are greenhouse gases. Although the refrigerants that are commonly used in more modern refrigerators and freezers still are greenhouse gases at least they do not contain substances that have a negative impact on the ozone.
The same holds true with dehumidifiers and old through the wall or window type air conditioning units, they too use refrigerants that are harmful to the environment.
Regardless of their age, refrigerator recycling must be done in such a way that the refrigerants and foam blowing agents are captured and then destroyed or disposed of properly.
Why is refrigerator recycling so important?
All that is needed is an appreciation of the numbers; just in the US there are about 200 million refrigerators and freezers, at least 40 million window air conditioners and 15 million dehumidifiers. Of this, approximately 9 million refrigerators and freezers, six million air conditioners and a further million dehumidifiers reach the end of their useful life and are disposed of.
With this huge number of units that are disposed of annually the environmental impact of removing and either destroying or properly recycling the refrigerant is significant. To put it into easy to understand language, every 1,000 refrigerators that are properly disposed of and recycled equal the CO2 reduction of over 1,500 cars that would never leave the driveway for one while year.
The majority of municipalities have curbside pickup of old and discarded refrigerators, freezers and other appliances that, if not disposed of properly, will seriously impact the quality of our life and the life of our children and grandchildren. Visit H&C Metals, Inc.