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Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD)

Program Benefits

What are the Benefits of Proper Appliance Disposal?

RAD Benefits from Properly Disposing of 1,000 Old Refrigerators (20+ years old)a

Benefits Cost Savings Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions Avoided MTCO2eq.)b Ozone Depleting Substance (ODS) Emissions Avoided (ODP-weighted kg) Other
Energy savings from preventing appliance resale/ reusec $739,170d 4,260 N/A Reduces energy consumption
Recycling ferrous and non-ferrous metalse $5,330f 142 N/A Saves landfill space and energy by recycling rather than landfilling durable materials
Recycling plastics, glass in lieu of landfilling $2,890f 17 N/A Saves landfill space and energy by recycling rather than landfilling durable materials
Avoided release of used oil Not estimated Not estimated N/A Avoided damage to the liver, brain, immune system, and reproductive system
Avoided release of mercury Not estimated Not estimated N/A Avoided impairment of neurological development and other problems associated with the human nervous system
Avoided release of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Not estimated Not estimated N/A Avoided carcinogenic and non-cancerous health effects
Avoided refrigerant emissions $30,230g 1,940 180 Avoided cases of skin cancer, cataracts, skin problems, and immune system suppression 
Avoided foam emissions $29,980g 1,920 400 Avoided cases of skin cancer, cataracts, skin problems, and immune system suppression
TOTAL: $807,600 8,279 580  

a Values are based on average quantities of materials recovered per unit, based on 2017 RAD partner reports. Units are assumed to contain CFC-12 refrigerant and CFC-11 foam blowing agent.
b Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MTCO2eq.) calculated based on 100-year GWPs provided in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007.
c Assumes that a 21-year old unit has 6.71 remaining years of useful life based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s Technical Support Document for the 2009 Final Rule on Residential Refrigerators, Refrigerator-Freezers and Freezers, available at: Assumes each refrigerator consumes an average of 854 kWh/year based on RAD partner reporting.
d Assumes an average 2017 U.S. electricity price of $0.129/kWh based on the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA’s) Electric Power Monthly electricity statistics, available at:
e Ferrous and non-ferrous metals are typically recycled in the United States due to their high economic value, though such practices are ensured by RAD partners as part of their commitment to using best environmental practices.
f Calculated based on the U.S. annual average market value of payments received from scrap yards, as provided in’s 2017 Annual Historical Market Price Information (available at
Exit). Actual values of scrap yard payments may fluctuate significantly within and across years.
g Calculated using the California auction reserve price on February 27, 2019, which was $15.62 per ton CO2eq. For more information, visit

What have RAD partners accomplished so far?

From 2007 through 2019, RAD partners avoided emissions of more than 38 MMTCO2eq. Of this total, 27% can be attributed to recovering refrigerants, 15% to recovering foam-blowing agents, 4% to recycling durable materials, and 54% to removing old appliances from the grid.

RAD partners have also prevented 1.12 billion pounds of ferrous metals (e.g., steel), 92 million pounds of non-ferrous metals (e.g., copper), 216 million pounds of plastic, and 33 million pounds of glass from going to landfills. Additionally, RAD partners have ensured the proper handling of toxic or hazardous materials, including 809,000 gallons of used oil, 321,000 PCB-containing capacitors, and 209,000 mercury-containing components.

In addition, RAD’s utility partners ensure that old appliances being disposed of by one household do not get reused by other households on the grid. They have done this by offering cash for old appliances and/or rebates on the purchase of new ENERGY STAR® units, as part of demand-side management (DSM) programs aimed at reducing electricity use through energy efficiency and conservation.

In recent years, many of these utilities have joined forces with other RAD retail partners who allow them to broaden their reach into consumer appliance channels. Together, these partners have made impressive strides in collecting a growing number of units and saving an increasing amount of energy. Since RAD’s inception, partners have reduced energy use by more than 29.4 billion kWh by permanently removing old refrigerators, stand-alone freezers, window air conditioning units, and dehumidifiers from the grid. This has collectively resulted in more than $3.7 billion in consumer savings.

For more detailed information on the benefits achieved by RAD partners, visit the Program Results page.

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