Columbus, Neb.- Do you have an old, aging refrigerator in your garage or basement and want a simple way to remove it? If so, Nebraska Public Power District has a proposal that can also save homeowners money.
Three years ago, NPPD and its wholesale customers began removing old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers. Since then, over 3,000 of these kilowatt-grabbing units have been disposed of and recycled in an environmentally friendly manner through its Refrigerator Recycling Program.
The program is back in operation for its third year and the process for removing those units is very simple: electric customers of any participating utility can take advantage of the program by calling 866-444-9160 or visiting www.jacoinc.net to schedule a free pick up. A list of participating utilities can also be found at http://www.nppd.com/assets/refrigerator_utilitylisting.pdf. Customers should be sure to have their utility bill in hand when scheduling. Refrigerators or freezers must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet in size and be operational at the time of pick-up. NPPD has a limit of two units per residential unit that can be picked up and removed.
For each unit removed (limit of two per residence) the owner receives a $35 incentive check plus the eventual reduction of electrical use and lowering of the home’s electric bill.
Kenneth Young, who manages NPPD’s refrigerator recycling program, says retiring a second refrigerator or freezer can result in savings of up to $100 a year on energy bills. “Today’s units are much more energy efficient, while refrigerators manufactured before 1990 can use as much as 1,500 kilowatt hours of electricity a year, almost three times as much as new models today,” he explained.
“Old refrigerators that are put into garages and basements tend to be energy hogs. They are usually inefficient and not fully used, costing the homeowner,” Young explained.
NPPD utilizes the services of JACO Environmental, a leading, national provider of appliance recycling service, to pick up and recycle the old units. Nearly 95 percent of each refrigerator – the metals, plastic, oils, and foam insulation is recycled. In fact, the foam removed is incinerated and the heat generated is then used to create new energy.
NPPD benefits, too. The units collected to date are expected to yield lifetime savings for the utility of 40,320 megawatt hours of electricity, plus 25,765 metric tons of carbon dioxide. A total of 313,400 pounds of steel have been recycled since the program began, along with 62,680 pounds of plastic, and over 9,000 pounds of aluminum.
The refrigerator recycling program is funded by the Waste Reduction and Recycling Incentive Grant Program of the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and NPPD. The program is available to residential customers of NPPD and its wholesale utility customers on a first-come, first-serve basis and is limited to two units per residential address owned by the customer.