GE Appliances has become a partner in the Environmental Protection Agency's WasteWise Program, which is a voluntary initiative focused on waste reduction and saving environmental resources while reducing emissions. GE is also partnering with EPA's SmartWay Program to help lower transportation-related emissions. GE Appliances was already an Energy Star and Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) Program partner.
GE said it is the first and only appliance manufacturer to partner on all four of these environmental-impact initiatives.
"By participating in these four programs, we have made a voluntary commitment to both the EPA and our customers to report how we have improved performance on a variety of environmental metrics," said Mark Shirkness, general manager, distribution services, GE Appliances.
GE said 70% of consumers want all or part of their appliances recycled, and 82% will go out of their way to purchase from a manufacturer that recycles. Partnering with the RAD and WasteWise Programs, GE committed to significantly reduce the landfill waste of appliance disposal.
Through GE's agreement with the Appliance Recycling Centers of America (ARCA) involving the Philadelphia-based ARCA Advanced Processing (AAP) recycling center, GE and ARCA have reduced the landfill waste of appliances processed at AAP by approximately 318,000 pounds monthly - estimated to be more than 3.8 million pounds annually.
GE will report waste-reduction and recycling efforts for its Appliance Park manufacturing facility in Louisville, KY, and its refrigerator manufacturing plant in Bloomington, IN. Teams are focused on determining uses for landfill waste, including plastics and glass, and are actively developing processes to track and recover such materials.
GE Appliances also committed to more sustainable transportation. It said that, of the approximate 144 million miles that GE's inbound appliance parts and appliances traveled in the U.S. in 2010, 80% of those miles were with EPA SmartWay carrier partners. SmartWay carriers' performance is ranked and publicized, they are subject to competitive pressures to continuously improve their metrics.
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