May 25, 2015

Posted by in Business | Comments Off on Do You Know How To Recycle Your Old Refrigerator?

Do You Know How To Recycle Your Old Refrigerator?

Do You Know How To Recycle Your Old Refrigerator?

All across America there is quite a wide range of local temperature; some places are cool or cold most of the time while others are really hot all the time. However, I would bet that there are very few (if any) households around the land that do not own at least one refrigerator. Which means that the refrigerator population of the USA must be large – anything from tiny bar fridges, to cool down a few drinks, to large almost walk in units – keeping it cool is very much the name of the game. The majority of these refrigerators operate by compressing a refrigerant that creates the cooling effect. The refrigerant is basically the same as that which we also compress in our domestic, commercial and automobile air conditioners. Again (I don’t know the statistics) but a huge amount of refrigerant must be in daily use.

The Gas Laws

Various 18TH Century scientists worked out theories and hypotheses that later become undisputed natural laws covering the behavior of all gases. These laws basically say that there is always a fixed relationship between volume, pressure and temperature. This means that, by changing volume and/or pressure, you will also be changing the temperature. This is the reason behind having compressors in equipment that we use for cooling things down.

If we think fluid; the term should be applied to anything that is not solid be it liquid or gaseous. Ice is liquid water in solid form and steam is still water but in the form of a gas. Most refrigerants are relatively easy to take through their transition from liquid to gas and back again.

Older Types Of Refrigerant

Ammonia used to be widely used but, chlorofluorocarbons became widely used during the 20TH Century until it was found that these gases when released into the atmosphere would rise all the way up to the ozone layer where a chemical reaction would take place and ozone was being destroyed to the detriment of the world’s climate.

Unfortunately, even in the best designed systems some refrigerant leakage is almost inevitable. Less environmentally hazardous refrigerants are still under development but some have problems in areas like toxicity and flammability and are officially declared to be hazardous..

When A Refrigerator Dies

The metal outer case, the layers of insulation and the plastic and glass inside can all be recycled to some extent or another – as can the metals used in the compressors and coils of the cooling unit. But, what happens to the refrigerant remaining in the compressor tank?

Under The Clean Air Act, it is a crime to intentionally release refrigerants into the atmosphere. They have to be removed, safely stored and, if possible recycled. Some of the more sophisticated scrap merchants (such as H&C Metals in Newark NJ for example) now offer fully approved, special facilities for Refrigerator Recycling.

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