STATE — An old refrigerator/freezer in the home of Kearny resident Siu Wah Lau saw its last day on Aug. 10, but its departure will save Lau more than $150 in energy costs a year. Lau will also receive a $50 rebate for the old appliance and could potentially receive a $75 to $100 rebate on a new ENERGY STAR® certified replacement.
Lau was among the latest residents to take advantage of New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities’ (BPU) Clean Energy Program’s Refrigerator/Freezer Recycle Program which picks up refrigerators and freezers for free and delivers them to be recycled safely and responsibly at an East Brunswick facility.
“I had heard about the Refrigerator Recycling Program through various promotions and decided to visit New Jersey’s Clean Energy website to learn more about it,” said Lau. “I knew that my extra refrigerator was costing more to run than it should, but I was surprised to learn that it was so much. Since we only use it periodically, we made the decision that it was no longer necessary to keep it running and wasting electricity and money.”
Like other New Jersey residents taking advantage of the program offer, Mr. Lau will receive a $50 rebate he can spend any way he wants, and if he chooses, can qualify for a rebate of up to $100 on a new, energy-efficient, ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerator or freezer. New refrigerator and freezer rebates are available for a limited time through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
Joining Lau at his home for the refrigerator/freezer pickup was New Jersey Board of Public Utilities Commissioner Jeanne M. Fox. “This program delivers convenience, smart savings and environmental responsibility into one easy package for New Jersey residents. If you have a second refrigerator or freezer, think about whether you really need to keep it running, or what you could do with an extra $150 dollars in savings next year, and a $50 rebate,” said Fox.
In 2009, the Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Program resulted in more than 6,000 older refrigerators and freezers in New Jersey being picked up and recycled which is equivalent to $7.2 million in lifetime energy cost savings. Entering its second year in July 2010, the total number of refrigerators and freezers picked up through the program now exceeds 16,000. Most are older, secondary units kept in garages and basements for storage. But some residents are using the program to upgrade to newer and more energy-efficient ENERGY STAR qualified refrigerators in their kitchens.
JACO Environmental recycles the appliances through a process that returns 95 percent of their materials back to manufacturing. The recycling process also safely extracts various toxic components that are found inside refrigerators, including contaminated oils, mercury and CFCs, which may deplete the ozone layer.
To schedule a free pick up of a refrigerator or freezer, customers may call 1-877-270-3520 or visit NJCleanEnergy.com. The refrigerator recycling rebate $50 is available until Dec. 31, while funds last. The ARRA rebate for the purchase of a new refrigerator is available until Aug. 31 (while funds last) to all NJ residents. Both refrigerators and freezers are eligible for the recycling program. The program is limited to removal of two units per household. Appliances to be recycled must be in working order and between 10 and 30 cubic feet, using inside measurements.
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