Appliance recycling program exceeds 15,000 units its first year

PPL Electric Utilities, located in Pennsylvania, estimates that its customers saved 26,000 megawatt-hours of energy over the past year by participating in the company’s E-power appliance recycling program.

Since the program’s launch in November 2009, PPL Electric Utilities customers have recycled more than 15,000 older, energy-wasting refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners.

The company contracts with JACO Environmental to manage its appliance recycling program. Customers are paid $35 for a refrigerator or freezer, and pickup is free. Customers receive a $25 incentive for recycling their old room air conditioners, but those must be recycled along with a refrigerator or freezer. Ninety-five percent of the materials are recycled and reused.

PPL Electric Utilities’ goal is to recycle about 70,000 appliances by May 2013.

Older refrigerators or freezers typically are kept in garages and basements and used to store extra food or beverages. Most are underused and can cost as much as $150 a year to operate.

In addition to incentives to recycle, E-power also offers customers rebates on certain energy-efficient appliances such as refrigerators and clothes washers.

The program is limited to the removal of two units per household and is available to PPL Electric Utilities residential electric customers. To qualify, refrigerators and freezers must be in working order with an inside measurement of 10 cubic feet or more.