Organization has recycled 70,000 refrigerators and freezers

Since launching its refrigerator recycling service, Energy Trust of Oregon estimates it has helped Oregonians unplug and recycle approximately 70,000 energy-wasting refrigerators and freezers — equaling the length of 1,000 football fields if laid end to end.

In total, the nonprofit estimates it has helped recycling participants save a total of $4.2 million on annual energy bills and 39 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which is enough energy to power 3,200 average Oregon homes for a year.

In 2008, Energy Trust began offering free fridge and freezer recycling to communities across the state served by Portland General Electric and Pacific Power. The service gave participants a chance to unplug and recycle their older fridges or freezers in exchange for a cash incentive. Because models built before 1993 can use two to three times more energy than new high-efficiency models, recycling is an easy way to make an immediate difference and help save hundreds of dollars on the household energy bill.

With the service, fridges or freezers are picked up for free from a customer’s home, then sent to a facility where 95 percent of the components are recycled. Energy Trust then mails a $40 cash incentive six to eight weeks later.

In addition to the energy savings, an estimated 5,250 tons of metal, 875 tons of plastic, 350 tons of foam and 105 tons of glass has been kept out of the waste stream through participants taking advantage of Energy Trust’s recycling service.

To qualify, the refrigerator or freezer must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet and in working condition. Purchase of a new refrigerator or freezer is not required to participate. However, customers looking for a replacement can receive up to a $100 cash incentive from Energy Trust when purchasing a new high-efficiency qualifying Energy Star refrigerator or freezer.

All Oregon customers of PGE and Pacific Power are eligible for the service and can schedule an appointment online at or by calling 1-866-444-8907.

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