Going Green

A new ARCA Recycling center will offer appliance recycling options to the Northeast.

A brighter future: ARCA Recycling, which recently opened a new center at 2000 Bennett Road, offers appliance recycling options to the Northeast. Last year, the company cleared out more than 185,000 refrigerators and freezers. LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTO

Over 28 years, ARCA Recycling has recycled more than 2 million appliances from 16 centers. Now, Northeast Philadelphia will contribute to that number.

A new ARCA Recycling center opened at 2000 Bennett Road that will offer appliance recycling and replacement programs. Last year, the company cleared out more than 185,000 refrigerators and freezers. This year, it projects to recycle more than 20,000.

Recycling a standard refrigerator keeps approximately 140 pounds of metal out of a landfill. That means the company’s goal this year will keep about 1,650 tons of material out of landfills. ARCA uses 95 percent of the metals from refrigerators and freezers, which could go toward other projects like building bridges and vehicles.

“Out of 1,500 tons, the streets department collects about 200 tons curbside from residents,” said Carlton Williams, commissioner of the city Department of Streets.

ARCA will be replacing a company that went out of business that used to conduct the pickups.

In 2016, Mayor Jim Kenney introduced the Zero Waste and Litter Cabinet to the city with the goal of eliminating 90 percent of the city’s waste off the streets by 2035.

LOGAN KRUM / TIMES PHOTO

“We need to develop key partnerships with private entities in the city to open avenues to divert the material, so ARCA definitely supports that initiative,” Williams said.

Williams said a major goal is to reduce the amount of illegal dumping of refrigerators and other large appliances in parks and other public areas.

“We want to give people viable options to be able to dispose of this type of material,” he said.

The center will partner with PECO to help them complete their appliance rebate program, which offers cash and free pickup of Energy Star-certified appliances that are still working but no longer wanted.

Derrick Wilcox, manager of the center, and Rick Christensen, vice president of operations, gave a presentation of the refrigerator recycling process. About 200 refrigerators are picked up, mostly from homes, each day, and scraped of foam and Freon, a commonly used coolant. The removed parts are separated by purity, and then the units are shredded. ••