Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling and Reward Program Coming to New Hampshire

New Hampshire residents with an older, second refrigerator or freezer will soon have an opportunity to have it picked up and recycled for free, saving them up to $200 a year in energy costs while earning them a $30 reward.

But they’ll have to act quickly. Beginning April 15, this offer from the CORE electric utilities (PSNH, National Grid NH, the NH Electric Cooperative, and Unitil) will expire on June 30, 2010, or when funding runs out.

The goal of this program—which is funded through a grant from the state’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) fund—is to have people rethink how much they really need their second refrigerators or freezers, which are typically kept in basements and garages for extra storage. What many people don’t realize is that the convenience of chilling a few items can come with a steep price. Refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 1990 can use three times more electricity than newer appliances. And that can burn up to $200 or more per year in extra electricity costs.

FridgeBy scheduling a free pickup of a working refrigerator or freezer at their home—labor included—residents not only start saving money, but instantly qualify for a $30 incentive reward, no purchase necessary. Scheduling a pickup is quick and easy. Residents can call 1-877-545-4113, or visit after April 15.

“This is a great way to get a head-start on spring cleaning, and earn free money while saving even more money,” said PSNH spokesperson Jack Schelling, on behalf of the CORE electric utilities.

Participating residents will also be doing their share to protect the environment. Not only will they reduce their energy consumption, they’ll prevent older refrigerators and freezers from ending up in landfills, where they could leach toxins into the ground and air. Instead, a contracted recycler (JACO Environmental) will safely extract various toxic components that are found inside refrigerators, including contaminated oils, mercury, and CFCs that both deplete the ozone layer and accelerate global warming. JACO’s process safely returns 95 percent of older units back into the recycling stream.

“Having an older refrigerator or freezer picked up for recycling is an easy way to make money, reduce monthly expenses, and do your part to protect the environment,” said Michael Dunham, director of energy and environmental programs for JACO Environmental.

This program is available to all residents of New Hampshire, regardless of which electric utility serves their home.