A new spin on appliance recycling education
hat happens to that old appliance when it is replaced
with the latest model? Shoppers at San Diego-area Circuit City stores are
learning about the importance of recycling used appliances through a cooperative
education effort being co-sponsored by I Love A Clean San Diego County,
Inc. (ILACSDC) and the Steel Recycling Institute (SRI).
Circuit City joins forces with ILACSD and SRI to get the word out
"Circuit City's commitment to recycling, combined
with their high visibility in San Diego County, made them a logical choice
as partner for this consumer-oriented education program," said Ann
Lundeen, Program Coordinator for ILACSDC. In-store signage and consumer
brochures encourage customers to recycle their used appliances. There are
27 recycling locations in the San Diego area, as well as regular appliance
collection events coordinated by ILACSDC.
Appliance recycling education is especially important
in California, which is one of 18 states to ban disposal of used appliances
in landfills. Such bans are partially responsible for the increase in the
appliance recycling rate, which reached an all-time high of 70.2 percent
Major home appliances, including refrigerators and freezers,
washing machines and dryers, dishwashers, stoves and ranges, air conditioners
and water heaters, are made of about 75 percent steel - America's most recycled
"The nearly two million tons of steel scrap recovered
through appliance recycling in 1994 was returned to the steel industry to
be remelted into new steel," said Jerry Thompson, vice president of
marketing for SRI. In fact, the steel production process requires the use
of old steel to make new steel. Subsequently all new steel products, including
appliances, cans, cars, construction materials and other products such as
toys, office supplies and tools, all contain recycled steel.
Once collected (either through local collection programs
or through drop-off at a local scrap processor), a used appliance enters
the scrap recovery network.
First, appliances that contain refrigerants (such as
refrigerators and air conditioners) must have the refrigerants reclaimed
Next, other usable parts, including electric motors,
switches and other components, will then be removed. The metal from these
components (including steel, copper, aluminum and brass) can also be recycled.
Finally, the appliance will be shredded into small pieces.
After shredding, a magnet separates the steel portion of the shred to be
sent on to the steel mill to be remelted into new steel products.
The nation's 1,600 scrap processors recovered more than 1.9 million tons
of steel from appliances in 1994.
For more information about appliance recycling locations
in San Diego County, please contact the Recycling Hotline at 467-0903 or
I Love A Clean San Diego County, Inc. is a non-profit
organization dedicated to raising public awareness of environmental issues
through a variety of educational and community-based activities.
The Steel Recycling Institute, an industry association
dedicated to promoting and sustaining steel recycling, is the primary information
and technical resource for recyclers, municipalities, legislators, educators,
businesses and other entities interested in steel recycling. Through its
seven regional offices, SRI works directly with city and county recycling
coordinators, recycling organizations, solid waste managers, recycling operators,
intermediate processors and end market buyers.