Residents of Northeastern Pennsylvania can still take advantage of a recycling program intended to help the environment by offering cash incentives to remove inefficient appliances.
Thanks to incentives offered by utility companies — including PPL and UGI — more than 200,000 outdated, energy-guzzling appliances have been recycled statewide to date. Both companies offer a financial incentive for customers to recycle old refrigerators, freezers and air conditioners.
PPL Electric Utilities has recycled more than 63,000 appliances since starting its E-power appliance recycling program in four years ago. UGI, which has smaller coverage area than PPL, has collected more than 600 appliances in recent years.
PPL and UGI offer customers $35, as well as complimentary removal and recycling of old refrigerators and freezers. PPL crews will also remove old air conditioners and give the account holder $25.
“We have 200,000 reasons to congratulate Pennsylvania residents … for their dedication to energy conservation,” said Brian Fitzpatrick, UGI’s manager of energy efficiency. He said while 200,000 is a large number, he knows there are many more old appliances that should be recycled.
“There are still thousands of old refrigerators and freezers awaiting retirement throughout our electric service territory as well as across the state and could be safely and effectively recycled through these programs,” he added.
Recycling a single outdated refrigerator has the environmental impact of removing two cars from the road for a year, and repurposes more than 188 pounds of materials, such as foam, glass and metal, for future use, according to information provided by the two companies.
Older appliances require as much as three times more electricity to operate than models built to meet current efficiency standards. Customers can look forward to saving up to $150 a year on energy bills once an old appliance is removed.
Electric companies statewide are involved in the initiative with some, including FirstEnergy, offers customers a $50 stimulus for participating.
The recycling efforts were spurred by Pennsylvania’s Act 129, signed into law in 2008, that set ambitious savings and demand reduction goals for the state’s large electric utilities. In order to achieve some of the goals, getting old, high energy-using appliances out of service and getting EnergySmart appliances plugged in in their place.
PPL, and other utilities, transport the appliances to a recycling facility operated by Mill Creek, Wash.-based JACO Environmental. The recycling process reclaims 95 percent of the materials in the appliances for reuse in manufacturing new products. Even the foam insulation is safely incinerated to generate electricity, PPL said.