Have you recently been shopping for a new refrigerator? Did you know that your old refrigerator can be recycled through your utility company?
Before you purchase your new refrigerator, you may want to find out how much will it cost to recycle your old one, instead of simply hauling it away. First, you need to consider purchasing an Energy Star qualified refrigerator. You will save significantly in lower operating costs over the life of the unit, because these refrigerators are so much more efficient than the older, traditional models. They use at least fifteen percent less energy than is required by federal standards and forty percent less energy than conventional refrigerators that were sold as recently as 2001.
Most utility companies will give you up to a twenty five dollar rebate when you purchase a new Energy Star refrigerator from a qualifying retailer in your county. However, this is if you agree to recycle the old refrigerator. The twenty five dollar rebate will help offset the price difference between an Energy Star and a non Energy Star model. Your annual energy savings will more than make up any remaining difference, plus you will receive the rebate from the retailer at the time you buy your refrigerator.
Recycling is free if your old refrigerator is still working and you live in the participating county and are a utility customer of the utility company offering the rebate. The refrigerator has to be at least fourteen cubic feet in size. The program also is open to qualifying customers who want to get rid of an extra refrigerator or freezer that they no longer need.
Many utility companies have been offering this program to their customers since the beginning of 2005 and have picked up and recycled more than four thousand units a year. Instead of ending up in some landfill, these old units were broken apart and recycled into new uses. They have begun this program because older refrigerators, which were manufactured before 1995, have hazardous components and materials that harm the environment if exposed or left in landfills.
These older refrigerators and freezers typically contain chlorofluorocarbon, or CFC, refrigerant, which can deplete the ozone layer above the earth. These utility companies will use a licensed contractor, who is certified to handle these dangerous substances and safely remove them from refrigerators before recycling them.
Every unit they get is completely reused in some manner or another, because they pump all of the CFCs into a cylinder that is taken to a firm in that will repackage them to be reused. After removing the refrigerator's compressor and draining its oil, which also is recycled, then they will remove and separate the aluminum, steel, and non-metal material such as foam, plastic and glass. They go this extra mile, simply because the metal is so valuable today, plus they separate all the copper wiring as well.
At that point, the remains of the refrigerator are shredded and the scrap is sent overseas, where it is transformed into new products. In addition, to the environmental benefits, the energy savings are significant. Refrigerators that were manufactured before the 1990s, were terribly inefficient compared to today's models. While it might seem like a good idea to put it in the garage or basement for extra storage, you will find that the amount of electricity these old units use make that storage extremely expensive. Depending on the model, the cost to operate an old refrigerator can run up to twelve dollars a month, sometimes even more.
Based on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's personal emissions calculator, replacing an old refrigerator with an Energy Star-rated refrigerator avoids the creation of five hundred twenty one pounds of carbon dioxide.