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First-of-its-kind capacitor recycling program announced by Eaton to drive circular economy

Today, power management company, Eaton, announced it has launched a new recycling program based out of its Emerald Road facility in Greenwood, South Carolina, allowing customers to dispose of aged, obsolete or damaged power capacitor units. The program includes onsite material pickup and supports any unit.

The program was initiated after the team received customer interest in a recycling program, which aligns with Eaton’s effort to help its customers reach their sustainability goals. “It became very clear that this was something our customers were hungry for,” said Gordon Pettersen, product manager, capacitors, Eaton. “We started drilling down into what exactly customers wanted in a recycling service and received plenty of feedback around site pickup and the ability to recycle any unit. That’s how we designed our program.”

The capacitor unit recycling process will vary depending on the material, construction and age of the unit. Where applicable, recovery of capacitor dielectric fluid will be collected and introduced into re-refining operations to become an ingredient in oil-based products. Metals will be sorted, shredded and melted and will undergo purification processes for future use in steel and non-ferrous goods manufacturing. Also, incineration of materials will only be used if the heat generated is collected and used to create more energy than was required for the incineration process.

This program allows Eaton to drive the movement of a circular economy. It is also in alignment with the company’s sustainability goal to commit to science-based targets and its intent to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2030. Over the same time period, Eaton also aims to certify 100 percent of its manufacturing facilities as zero waste-to-landfill. The Emerald Road facility in Greenwood reached zero waste-to-landfill status in 2018.

The Emerald Road facility in Greenwood produces capacitor units, switches, assembled equipment and network protector products for utilities and other industrial companies. It has 215 employees.