Although today’s energy efficient refrigerators provide consumers with ample storage with little impact on their electric bills, many homes in the United States have a second fridge. More often than not, this fridge is an older model that, rather than being pitched, is housed in a hot garage and used to store drinks and, on special occasions like Thanksgiving, leftover food.
According to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, the average “second refrigerator” is likely between 15 to 25 years old and uses about 750-1000 kilowatt-hours every year which amounts to between $97 to $130 on your electric bill. In contrast, today’s ENERGY STAR® refrigerators cost about $40 a year to run.
If that second fridge isn’t doing enough to substantiate the cost to have it, there are options to safely and responsibly recycle the unit. According to ENERGY STAR:
• Refrigerators and freezers contain refrigerants, oils, and other compounds that, by federal law, must be removed and recovered. Then the steel, other metals, and selected parts can be recycled.
• Some recycling programs also capture the foam insulation inside the refrigerator doors for added environmental benefits.
• On average, a 10+ year old fridge contains more than 120 pounds of recyclable steel!
Ways to recycle your fridge:
• When you buy a new ENERGY STAR refrigerator, consider buying from a retailer than has an EPA Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program. The sales associate should be able to tell you if their store has this program.
• Contact your city’s waste management division to see if they pick up appliances such as fridges and their policies on recycling these types of appliances.
• Call your local scrap metal recycler.
Not only will you be saving money on your electric bill if you rid your home of a second fridge, but by recycling, you are helping to protect our environment. A true win-win!
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