ARCA Canada facility celebrates recycling Of 500,000 Ontario appliances
Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, toured ARCA Canada July 31st to see firsthand how 500,000 fridges, freezers and other refrigerant-containing appliances have been safely decommissioned since 2006 by ARCA Canada.
The company says the environmental implications of this milestone are significant. Without responsible recycling, mercury switches, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs) capacitors and over 30,000 kg of ozone-depleting Chlorofluorocarbon-based (CFCs), 8,800 kg of Hydrochlorofluorocarbon-based (HCFC) and 1,800 kg Hydrofluorocarbon-based (HFC) refrigerants (R12, R22 and R134a) would have been released into the atmosphere. In addition to the refrigerants, 26,000,000 kg of metals and 900,000 kg of plastics have been recycled.
“In addition to recycling metals and plastics, special care is paid to the proper management of ozone-depleting refrigerant chemicals and gases containing CFCs, PCBs capacitors and mercury switches,” explained Joseph Berta, managing director, ARCA Canada. “Much of our collection success is attributable to the efforts of the local distribution companies who have promoted this program across Ontario.”
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculates that 1,000 properly decommissioned fridges, results in the same greenhouse gas emission reductions as removing 1,500 cars from the roads for a year.
“The saveONenergy FRIDGE & FREEZER PICKUP program, initially started by the Ontario Power Authority in 2006, resulted in about 420,000 fridges and freezers being collected,” said Bruce Campbell, President and CEO, Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO). “This represents enough electricity to power almost 22,000 homes for an entire year.”
The IESO is continuing the program until December 31, 2015. The program is free-of-charge and makes it easy for all Ontarians to dispose of old, energy-inefficient appliances.