Recycle and Save
Refrigerators and freezers made before 1993 can cost twice as much to operate than a newer model. Appliances made in the 1970s cost up to four times more to operate.
Recycling old appliances is good for your pocketbook and the environment. If you’re not ready to recycle but still want to save on energy, remember to keep your freezer full. When you have empty space in a freezer, the motor runs to keep that space cold. By using jugs of frozen water to fill the gaps, the motor runs less.
Recycling is Good for the Environment
The average 10-year old refrigerator contains more than 120 pounds of reusable steel. Recycled units are sent to a facility where 95% of the material is repurposed, and hazardous waste is disposed of safely.
In 2011, I&M joined the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program. RAD is a voluntary partnership program that works with utilities, retailers, manufacturers, and others to dispose of old refrigerated appliances using the best environmental practices available—going beyond federal requirements to protect Earth’s climate and the ozone layer.
I&M’s Appliance Recycling program has protected the environment by keeping recyclable materials out of landfills and ensuring the proper handling of hazardous waste.
Since 2011, materials prevented from going to a landfill:
- 4,445,696 lbs. of ferrous metals (e.g., steel)
- 204,953 lbs. of non-ferrous metals (e.g., copper)
- 527,678 lbs. of plastic
- 132,774 lbs. of glass
Since 2011, hazardous materials handled properly:
- 2,409 gallons of used oil
- 374 PCB-containing capacitors
- 1338 mercury-containing capacitor(s)
Recycling in Action
Find a Recycling Company
The Recycling Locator will help you find a local recycling company for your refrigerator or other large appliances.
*Data as of 2019. Prior year data updated annually in June. Annual energy savings based on 1,000 kWh use per month. Emissions based on I&M-specific emissions data from our cleaner generation portfolio. EPA.gov Greenhouse Equivalencies Calculator used for kWh conversion.