The US Environmental Protection Agency has identified six major benefits of using scrap instead of virgin materials (iron ore and coal) in making new steel:
- 97% Reduction in mining wastes
- 90% Savings in virgin materials use
- 86% Reduction in air pollution
- 76% Reduction in water pollution
- 74% Savings in energy
- 40% Reduction in water use
Hazardous Waste In Appliances
Refrigerants (CFCs) - are hydrochlorofluorocarbons which are chemicals known to promote global warming and contribute to the destruction of the ozone layer. They are in most refrigerators, air conditioners, and de-humidifiers.
PCB capacitors and ballasts - Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a class of 209 man-made chemicals with varying toxicity, often used as an insulator in electrical equipment.
Brominated flame retardants - are widely used in plastic cases and cables. Over exposure to bromine can have the same effects as lead or mercury poisoning.
Mercury - is used in electrical connectors, switches, and thermostats.
Some facts about appliance recycling. . .
- It is estimated that 55 million appliances will be removed from service this year.
- 72% of appliances removed from service are recycled.
- Major home appliances make up about 10% of the steel processed by the recycling industry each year.
- Approximately 75% of the typical household appliance is made of steel, America's most recycled material.
- Appliances also contain other recyclable materials, including aluminum, copper, CFC refrigerants and some plastics.
- Older appliances can contain environmentally harmful materials such as mercury and PCBs. These substances must be removed and managed properly before recycling an appliance.
More information about appliance recycling in Minnesota
... Many appliances contain refrigerants that must be ... This page provides information for appliance recyclers on the following CFC ... between an individual and an appliance recycler or between an appliance recycler and a scrap metal...
http://www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/air/air-quality-and-pollutants/ air-pollutants/chlorofluorocarbons/chlorofluorocarbons-cfcs-and- appliance-recyclers.html
Record-Keeping Requirements for Small Appliance Recycling
... Record-keeping requirements for small appliance recycling Air Quality #1.34 ... be maintained when recycling small appliances. Record-keeping requirements are necessary ... necessary to demonstrate that the appliance recycling has been done correctly ...