Recycling service offers way to unplug and save

For the next three months, customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power have added reason to unplug and recycle their older, energy-wasting refrigerators and freezers: They can help local families in need through Oregon Food Bank.

Energy Trust of Oregon is offering a new opportunity as part of its ongoing fridge recycling service, which provides free in-home pickup, responsible recycling of refrigerators and freezers and a $40 cash incentive. From May through July, customers can choose to donate their $40 cash incentive to Oregon Food Bank, which will help provide the equivalent of 120 meals or four emergency food boxes for those in need.

Refrigerators and freezers built in 1993 or earlier can guzzle up to $200 a year in energy costs, which is two to three times more than today’s more energy-efficient options. These include qualifying models that only cost around $40 a year to operate. For households keeping older, second fridges in the garage or basement, the extra costs can add up.

“Unplugging and recycling an inefficient refrigerator or freezer is an easy way to make an immediate difference on the monthly energy bill,” said Matt Braman, residential program manager, Energy Trust. “Now, by working with Oregon Food Bank, our customers have the added option to donate their incentive to help their neighbors in need.”

The Oregon Food Bank Network helps nearly one in five households fend off hunger. According to the Oregon Food Bank, since the recession began in 2008, the need for emergency food boxes has increased 41 percent. More than 1 million emergency food boxes were distributed last year alone.

All Oregon customers of Portland General Electric and Pacific Power are eligible for the recycling service and the opportunity to make a donation to Oregon Food Bank. Appointments can be scheduled online at or by calling 1-866-444-8907.

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.

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