Commercial refrigerators and household appliances at the end of their life are transformed into new products

Learn how the need for proper disposal generates opportunities and requires new behaviors.

The concern with the correct disposal and potential reuse of components and materials generated from products at the end of their lifetime is growing every day around the world. Today there is a new concept behind this topic, which goes beyond recycling. It concerns an important change in the way of using and allocating products: their disposal at the end of their lifetime will occur in a way that generates new components and materials that will be transformed in new products for various applications. This change is heavily concerned with appliances, including refrigeration and it and already affects the sector. Therefore, refrigeration technicians, resellers and other professionals of the area need to be attentive, trying to chase information about and adopting the right attitude when involved with the disposal of refrigerators, parts and components which have not reached the end of their lifetime. The current moment requires a new way of thinking and acting.

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The model that is becoming stronger is called Circular Economy: prioritizing the reuse of materials to create new products in other industrial processes. At the same time, waste can be avoided, reducing the consumption and extraction of natural resources. The circular economy brings economic and environmental benefits, besides encouraging innovation. The existing conditions are very favorable for incorporating new behavior and attitudes linked to these aspects.

Embraco uses its experience to start a new business Embraco created Nat.Genius, a new business based on circular economy concepts. The objective is to find technological and innovative solutions for the recycling of household appliances and commercial refrigerators at the end of their lifetime. This process is well-known by the company, which has more than 20 years’ experience in the collection and correct disposal of compressors, its materials and components. The program Top Verde (Top Green), which allowed the collection of millions of obsolete compressors, is the best-known example of this performance. The great potential of the market in Brazil led the company to invest in this area, as there are insufficient solutions and infrastructure to handle the industry requirements appropriately. Besides its experience and link with sustainability, Embraco has an important differential: a team of approximately 500 professionals highly qualified and experienced in the area of R&D. The extensive knowledge in engineering such as of materials and chemistry, as well as the partnership with important universities, allows the company to have the necessary experience to find the most innovative solutions. In its laboratories, Embraco already develops new products, adding value to what today is discarded or sold as scrap. Nat.Genius is, nowadays, a success and an example of lifetime cycle practices. 

ATTENTION TO THE ROLE OF THE REFRIGERATION TECHNICIAN The refrigeration technicians often receive from their customers the mission of taking away parts and components which were changed (such as the compressor) and sometimes even a refrigerator which the owner does not consider to be worth repairing. Thus, they become responsible for finding a correct solution from the point of view of the allocation of these materials. They cannot be thrown away in ordinary trash or left abandoned in the open air due to the high risk of contamination of the environment (oil and certain cooling fluids are examples thereof).

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