RAD: Responsible Appliance Disposal

GE Appliances’ product recycling initiative for clean air & water

As the first and only appliance manufacturer to implement the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal Program, GE is helping to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and the amount of waste entering our landfills, protecting our air and water. It’s just one more way GE is investing in our future.

Approximately nine million refrigerators are disposed of annually in the U.S., and only a fraction has the insulating foam in their walls and doors recycled. While 90 percent of used refrigerators in the U.S. are shredded for their metal, the remaining foam and other materials are typically crushed — releasing greenhouse gases into the atmosphere — and sent to a landfill.

How it Works

The Industry Way

Today most used refrigerators are processed at a location where the product is sent through a shredder. As the refrigerator goes through the shredder, the insulating foam from the walls and doors is crushed, and greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. About 55 pounds of a typical refrigerator ends up in a landfill.

The RAD Way

Our new approach saves approximately 47 pounds of material from a recycled refrigerator that would typically go into a landfill. Learn more about the RAD way:

Refrigerator Pick-up
Refrigerator Pick-up

The used refrigerator is picked up and sent to a dedicated ARCA (Appliance Recycling Centers of America) recycling center.

Remove Refrigerators
Remove Refrigerants

Refrigerants and recoverable components are removed before the refrigerator is processed. This initiative will reduce the weight of typical refrigerator landfill waste by approximately 85%.

Remove Greenhouse Gases
Remove Greenhouse Gases

The greenhouse gases from the foam are captured in a sealed system. Approximately 95% of the insulating foam is recovered, compressed and can be used as fuel.


The remaining metals, compressed foam pellets, and plastics are separated for recycling.

How Do I Get Involved?

The RAD Program is currently offered in the east cost region of the United States at participating Home Depot® stores. Please confirm your ZIP code is covered through your store’s home delivery program to ensure RAD participation.

After purchasing a new refrigerator with home delivery, your new refrigerator will be delivered to you and your old refrigerator will be taken away to be recycled the RAD way!

RAD — Responsible Appliance Disposal Program

About RAD

The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program partners with manufacturers to:

  • Dispose of old, inefficient refrigerated appliances using the best environmental practices available
  • Reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases
  • Ensure that hazardous materials, such as mercury, other chemicals, and used oil, are not released into the environment

See RAD in Action

See RAD in Action

Watch our 60 second animation showing the current industry process compared to the new RAD way.

Play Video

Appliance Recycling Centers of America

Appliance Recycling Centers of America

ARCA, one of the nation’s largest recyclers of major household appliances for the energy conservation programs of electric utilities, currently provides services for 150 utility programs in the U.S. and Canada.

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