WASHINGTON — The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program celebrated its 15th anniversary and recognized partners during its second annual RAD Leadership Awards Ceremony. In addition to preventing nearly 1.5 billion pounds of metal, plastic, and glass from entering landfills since 2006, RAD partners have achieved a reduction of 39.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent. Fourteen partners received awards for outstanding program achievements in appliance recycling during the event, which was hosted virtually via webinar as part of the Annual RAD Partner Meeting on November 17, 2021.
“Even after 15 years, our RAD partners continue to go above and beyond when it comes to appliance recycling,” said Joe Goffman, Principal Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “Their successful efforts to recycle foams and reduce the amount of durable goods sent to landfills is having a positive impact on our environment, and we congratulate these RAD Leadership Award Winners on their achievements.”
Partners in EPA’s RAD program commit to collecting and disposing of old refrigerated appliances such as refrigerators and freezers, window air conditioners, and dehumidifiers using best environmental practices. In addition to complying with laws on the recovery of refrigerant, used oil, mercury, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), RAD Partners commit to recovering appliance insulation foam. This foam can contain greenhouse gases and ozone-depleting chemicals, so properly disposing of the foam prevents the release of climate-damaging emissions to our atmosphere. Partners also promote the recycling of all durable goods and champion the permanent retirement of old, inefficient appliances from our energy grids to help save energy. As a result of their commitments, RAD partners have achieved significant environmental benefits since RAD first launched in 2006, recycling more than 9.3 million refrigerated appliances and reducing emissions of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) by 1,989 ozone-depletion potential (ODP)-weighted tons.
The RAD Leadership Award winners were honored in three categories: the RAD Champion Award, the RAD Program Growth Award, and the RAD Ambassador Award.
• The RAD Champion Award recognizes the RAD partners with the highest rates of appliance foam recovery. The ten recipients of the award this year recovered foam in 100% of the units collected in 2020. They were Butler County Recycling & Solid Waste District (Hamilton, Ohio), Consumers Energy (Jackson, Mich.), Delmarva Power (Wilmington, Del.), General Electric Appliances (Louisville, Ky.), Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (Los Angeles, Calif.), Modesto Irrigation District (Modesto, Calif.), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) (Merrillville, Ind.), Palo Alto Utilities (Palo Alto, Calif.), Silicon Valley Power (Santa Clara, Calif.), and UGI Utilities (Valley Forge, Penn.).
• The RAD Program Growth Award recognizes the top three RAD partners with the greatest annual increase in units processed. This year’s recipients were Liberty Utilities (Salem, N.H.), New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) (Binghamton, N.Y.), and Unitil (Hampton, N.H.).
• The RAD Ambassador Award was presented to Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) (Sacramento, Calif.), which has consistently demonstrated exemplary partner practices and considerable engagement with the RAD team, developed novel appliance recycling program models, including a new approach that recovers and recycles units that are taken to landfills, and explored a partnership with local retailers.
Learn more about the RAD Program and its awards: https://www.epa.gov/rad/rad-leadership-awards