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“Flip Your Fridge:” Program encourages people to recycle outdated refrigerators

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MILWAUKEE  (WITI) -- Have you ever thought about how much money your refrigerator is costing you? Older models can suck up three times as much power as new ones. But, there's an easy way to recycle it.

Focus on Energy, Wisconsin utilities’ statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy,  is partnering with the Energy Star on a nationwide campaign called "Flip Your Fridge." The program encourages people to recycle and replace outdated, inefficient refrigerators with models that qualify for the Energy Star certification.

"Anything over 15 to 20 years old is really using a lot of energy," said Rich Marshall, the program manager at Focus on Energy.

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Focus on Energy’s Appliance Recycling Program is participating in the ‘Flip Your Fridge’ campaign and will offer a $40 incentive to customers who recycle their old refrigerator after they purchase a new one. If customers don’t need to buy a new refrigerator or freezer, they can still recycle an old one that may be sitting in the basement or garage.

All you have to do is call Focus on Energy, and someone will come pick up your fridge for free.The fridge is cataloged and then brought into a Focus on Energy facility.  The fridge gets taken apart, the chemicals are removed and the fridge is cut into pieces. Then the foam insulation is separated from the plastic. Even the toxic oils and chemicals, like Freon, get taken to a special facility, where they are refined and then recycled.

"It goes to people that use those materials in re-manufacturing new products," said Marshall.

Since 2012, Focus on Energy has recycled nearly 60,000 fridges and freezers. Program leaders say it's often a second fridge in a basement or garage that isn't getting much use.

"We`re really encouraging people to take inventory of how much they actually use that appliance," said Sarah Platt with Focus on Energy.


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