PARKE COUNTY -- A refrigerator/freezer recycling program that pays Parke County REMC members $35 for each unit scheduled for free pickup has brought jobs to the state.
Because of the level of participation and interest in recycling old, inefficient refrigerators and freezers, a new recycling facility recently opened in Indianapolis, which will provide Hoosiers with jobs and will also open up more pickup times for Parke County REMC members when they want to ditch their old appliance.
Parke County REMC's power supplier, Wabash Valley Power, has partnered with JACO Environmental to schedule, collect and recycle the refrigerators and freezers since 2010.
In the three years of the program, 24 electric cooperatives in northern Indiana, Illinois and Missouri have recycled more than 5,300 units, saving nearly seven million kilowatt hours, which is enough energy to power close to 600 homes.
In addition to the $35 reward, the program will also benefit the co-op member by allowing them to save up to $150 a year in energy costs as a result of lower electricity usage.
Typically, the appliances recycled through the program are outdated units used for extra storage and kept in garages and basements. But the convenience of chilling extra soda and some leftovers can come with a steep price. Refrigerators manufactured before 1990 can use three times more electricity than new appliances.
The refrigerator recycling program is not a traditional rebate program because there is no purchase of a new appliance necessary.
To receive the $35 reward, people who qualify only have to schedule a pickup time to have their old, working refrigerator removed.
Appliance recycler JACO Environmental will then recycle refrigerators through a process that returns 95 percent of their material back into the manufacturing stream.
It also safely extracts various toxic components that are found inside refrigerators, including contaminated oils, mercury and CFCs that both deplete the ozone layer and accelerate global warming.
"Having an older fridge or freezer picked up for recycling is an easy way to make money, reduce monthly expenses and do your part to protect the environment," Parke County REMC General Manager Greg Ternet said.
To schedule an appointment to have a refrigerator or freezer recycled, call 1-877-395-5535 or log on to www.powermoves.com.
Co-op members will receive a $35 check within four to six weeks after the collection of the appliance.
Refrigerators and freezers to be recycled must be in working order with an inside measurement of 10-30 cubic feet.