DETROIT, Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- For a limited time, DTE Energy is offering its Detroit Edison customers a little extra cash for turning in their old, energy guzzling refrigerators and freezers for recycling. From now until Dec. 25, 2010, the company is upping the incentive it pays customers for these older model appliances to $50 from $40 – and hauling them away for free.
While an extra $50 can come in handy for holiday gift shopping, the real benefit of DTE Energy's appliance recycling program is how much money participants will start saving going into the New Year, upwards of $150 annually. Most older refrigerators and freezers —often spares kept for extra storage in garages or basements — are so inefficient that they waste as much as three times the energy as newer models designed to higher energy-efficiency standards.
Detroit Edison customers can schedule a time for a crew to pick up an older, working refrigerator or freezer by calling (866) 796-0512, or by visiting the company's energy efficiency website, YourEnergySavings.com. The program is limited to removal of two units per household. Appliances to be recycled must be in working order with an inside measurement of 10 to 30 cubic feet.
In addition to the $50 reward for refrigerators and freezers, DTE Energy will pay an additional $20 each for any old room air conditioners or dehumidifiers.
"Turning in one or more of these old appliances is a great way for customers to make their home more energy efficient," said Heidi Muir, who manages DTE Energy's appliance recycling program. "Not only will they save money by using less energy, they'll also help the environment."
Approximately 95 percent of each refrigerator or freezer is recycled and returned to the manufacturing stream at a plant operated by national appliance recycler JACO Environmental. This spares the use of more natural resources and protects the environment from a serious threat, as these appliances contain mercury and other dangerous toxins. Tossed into a landfill, these poisons dissolve into the environment as the old appliance rusts away. This includes foam insulation that emits greenhouse-causing gases when exposed to the air. JACO's recycling process eliminates this environmental threat. The foam is even safely incinerated to generate electricity, so the old unit returns a little of all that energy it wasted back onto the power grid.
"If you can do without having an older, secondary refrigerator or freezer – or replace them with a new, energy efficient model -- you also do your part to protect the environment by saving energy, preventing pollution and conserving natural resources," said Michael Dunham, director of energy and environmental programs for JACO.
SOURCE DTE Energy