Refrigerator Recycling

Jun 15, 2011 by

I think most people would do almost anything within reason to save energy and save money.  Energy is getting expensive, and some of us have summer power bills that can get into the hundreds of dollars per month. Most of us have done the easy things like turn the air conditioner up a couple of degrees and switch our light bulbs to the compact fluorescent variety. Air conditioning accounts for about 17% of electric usage in the home and lighting accounts for about 10%. There is one appliance most wouldn’t think of that accounts for about 14% of home electricity usage—refrigerators—and some Americans have two or more fridges plugged in year-round.

How many kilowatts each refrigerator uses depends a lot on when it was purchased. The most efficient units from 25 years ago used over 1,400 kilowatts per year. The current rate for residential customers is over eleven cents per kilowatt, meaning an old refrigerator can cost over $150 a year to keep plugged in.  New refrigerators use only about a fourth of the electricity or even less. Simply put, a new fridge can save you well over $100 per year just in electricity costs.

But do you really even need that very old fridge? I suspect that many of us have a second or third fridge in the garage that is only used to keep some beers or sodas cold, or used for overflow during the holidays. Could we live without that fridge and just make room for the cold drinks? I could, especially since I know that it will also save me $150 a year in energy costs. I love having an extra fridge for drinks, but using less energy would be a positive green move, both environmentally and economically.

This summer, there is even more reason to get rid of the extra fridge. The City of Tulsa provides a free pick-up service for appliances, and if you call for a refrigerator pick-up this summer, AEP-PSO will give you a $25 check if it is still in working condition. The M.e.t. is happy to partner with these two organizations to collect these fridges and make sure they are properly recycled.

Saving energy means saving money. Getting paid for it is even better. If you have an extra fridge and are a Tulsa resident, call 918-596-9777 to schedule a pick-up. You could even call it cool cash.

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