Xcel is offering rebates for customers who choose to recycle these older appliances through the company's Energy's Refrigerator Recycling program. As a part of the program a crew will pick up the unit for free and customers will get a $50 rebate check in the mail.
However Xcel says customers stand to save far more than that on their energy bills by participating in the program.
"A 20-year or older refrigerator can actually use two to four times more energy than an Energy Star-rated fridge," Christmas Ramirez, associate product manager for Excel Energy's Residential Rebate programs, said. "So that can be $100 on your bill alone just for something you might be using for Thanksgiving or when company comes over."
To be eligible for the program the refrigerator or stand-alone freezer must be operable and measure between ten and 30 cubic feet. That means most miniature and commercial-size refrigerators will not qualify. Residents must also be Xcel Energy residential electric customers and they must own the appliance being recycled. Customers can recycle a maximum of two appliances per year through the program.
Once picked up, the refrigerators are disassembled and the parts used in a variety of ways.
"The components of the recycled refrigerator are converted into numerous products - such as metal for aerospace parts and bridges," Ramirez said. "All other components of appliances - such as plastic, gas, oils, compressors and foam - are appropriately managed to either generate energy through waste-to-energy facilities or to produce new domestic household items and other crucial products."
Xcel says very little goes to waste during this process.
"Not are you reaping the benefits and the savings directly at your home but you're also doing something great for the environment," Ramirez told 9NEWS. "A hundred and sixty-four pounds of materials can be in one fridge. So once all the possible components are recycled all that's left inside can fit inside of a cowboy hat."
The program will run through the end of December or until all available rebate money has been awarded.
To learn more about the refrigerator recycling program or to schedule a pick-up please visit www.responsiblebynature.com/fridge or call 866-552-8755.
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