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EDISON CONFERENCE INCREASES AWARENESS OF REFRIGERATOR DISPOSAL RULES

EDISON CONFERENCE INCREASES AWARENESS OF REFRIGERATOR DISPOSAL RULES
 ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Edison recently sponsored a national conference to address complications that new California rules could impose on efforts to safely recycle old refrigerators as a means of conserving both energy and landfill space.
 The issues center on a chlorofluorocarbon gas called CFC-11 that fills the plastic bubbles in refrigerator insulation and keeps the cold inside refrigerator cabinets. Released to the air, CFC-11 destroys ozone in the upper atmosphere, which protects the earth's surface from harmful solar rays.
 A new California law prescribes recycling, not dumping, for discarded appliances and other large metal items by January 1994. Before being crushed or shredded, however, some appliance parts that are considered hazardous must be separated from other materials and disposed of safely. For refrigerators, that includes CFC-11-laden insulation.
 This requirement for refrigerators creates special challenges for utilities like Edison that are considering programs that remove and dispose of old, inefficient home refrigerators which have been replaced by newer models. Typically the replaced units go into a garage to serve as additional cold storage, wasting money and energy. Edison believes that removing these energy guzzlers from its system will help delay construction of new power plants and save money for customers.
 Edison's conference on the CFC-11 issue attracted leaders from key interests, including utilities, appliance manufacturers, recyclers, regulators and environmentalists.
 The representatives from these divergent interests were told that the California Environmental Protection Agency's designation of CFC-11 as a hazardous waste would likely create a complicated, time-consuming permitting process for any refrigerator recycling service entity.
 The conferees generally agreed that such a delay would merely create more landfill dumping of refrigerators and pressed for a rule change that would permit a recycling facility to safely remove CFC-11 from refrigerator insulation in California. Edison plans to draft a proposed rule change in conjunction with other California utilities, regulators and environmentalists.
 "A number of the conferees were hearing about this problem for the first time," said Dave Gardner, program coordinator for Edison. "For the most part, they were dismayed to learn about it, but glad that someone was preparing to take some action on these issues."
 Gardner estimates 9 percent of the estimated 500,000 second refrigerators in homes within its service territory could be taken out of service in the first year of a second-refrigerator removal and disposal program.
 -0- 4/30/92
 /CONTACT: Steve Hansen of Southern California Edison, 818-302-2255/ CO: Southern California Edison ST: California IN: UTI SU:


CH -- LA045 -- 5208 04/30/92 17:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 30, 1992
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