Fall Clean Up Tip: NJ Program Pays Residents $50 For Old Fridges

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TRENTON – If getting ready for winter includes a fall clean up project, then getting rid of that old second refrigerator can get you ready for energy savings just in time for colder weather. Whether you have it stored in the garage or basement or want to get rid of a working fridge or freezer you recently replaced, recycling an old refrigerator or freezer can help you save money to help pay heating bills.

New Jersey’s Board of Public Utilities’ (NJBPU) Clean Energy Program pays people a $50 reward for scheduling the pick up of old, operating, secondary refrigerators and freezers. Older appliances rely on outdated technology that can cost their owners as much as $150 a year in higher electrical costs.

That money turns into savings when people take advantage of the Clean Energy Program, which provides all the labor and transportation necessary to remove the appliance from the home and deliver it to the recycling facility. And with colder weather increasing demand on household energy, fall is an ideal time to think about removing an outdated refrigerator or freezer.

To schedule a free, in-home pick up of a refrigerator or freezer for recycling, New Jersey electric customers can call 1-877-270-3520, or visit NJCleanEnergy.com. 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.

“You pick up the phone, you pick a time that’s convenient for you, and we come out and remove your old fridge or freezer. It’s that easy and it pays you $50 while saving you as much as three times more in annual electric costs,” said Lee A. Solomon, President of the Board of Public Utilities.

Once that old refrigerator or freezer is out of the home, it’s on its way to a process that reclaims 95 percent of its materials for recycling. At an East Brunswick plant, the national firm of JACO Environmental employs a robotic process that demanufactures the old units while safely removing toxic substances such as mercury, oils, and foam insulation that outgases ozone-eating fumes.

The outdated appliances yield metals and plastics that are repurposed for use in the manufacturing of mobile phones, computers, construction rebar, and road surfacing, just to name a few uses.

“If you really don’t need the extra storage, having that old garage fridge picked up can instantly benefit you, and benefit both the environment by keeping toxic materials out of landfills, and conserving raw, natural resources,” said Michael Dunham, director of energy and environmental programs for JACO Environmental.

For more information about the NJBPU or New Jersey’s Clean Energy Program, visit NJCleanEnergy.com or call 1-866-NJSMART.

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