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SMUD Offers Disposal of Old Refrigerators, Cash Incentive

SMUD is offering to pay owners of old refrigerators and freezers to pick up old appliances for recycling free of charge.

Fair Oaks residents can make their homes more energy-inefficient and make a little money doing so.

SMUD is offering to dispose of the old refrigerators and freezers in an environmentally-friendly way, according to a release put out by the regional municipality. According to the release, SMUD’s appliance recycling partner, JACO Environmental, will come to your home or business and pick it up for free. Afterward, SMUD will send you a $35 check.

SMUD claims disposing of the old friges and freezers could result in as much as $125 each year in additional energy costs.

“By recycling old refrigerators and freezers, our customers can save money and energy and help us build a cleaner, healthier environment,” said Paula Robertson, SMUD’s Program Manager for Refrigerator Recycling. “And with free pickup and a $35 incentive, it’s also an easy way to jump start your spring cleaning.”

A maximum of two units for each household can be removed as part of the SMUD program. All units must be in working order and have an inside measurement of 10 and 27 cubic feet—standard sizes for most non-commercial refrigerators and freezers.

For families who rely on the extra fridge or freezer in the garage, SMUD recommends they be energy efficient units "Energy Star" rated, said SMUD spokesman Matthew Z'berg.

"The basis for the size parameters is that the bigger older units are the ones we want off the grid and are the energy hogs," Z'berg said. "The smaller "dorm" sized units are not a big source of the problem so we have not targeted them."

Refrigerators and freezers are picked up by the national appliance recycler JACO Environmental. JACO de-manufactures refrigerators and freezers at a Hayward plant through a process that returns 95 percent of their material back into the manufacturing stream. It also safely extracts various toxic components that are found inside refrigerators, including contaminated oils, mercury and CFCs that deplete the ozone layer and accelerate global warming. This prevents the extensive environmental damage caused when refrigerators and freezers are dumped in landfills.

“These old appliances are environmental time bombs. However, by removing them from homes, saving them from landfills, and safely recycling them, we create jobs, save money, and reduce demand for resources and electricity,” said Michael Dunham, Director of Energy and Environmental Programs for JACO.

Open appointments are limited, according to JACO's website. The next available date for pickup is April 19. Check the website for the full list of available times and appointments.

To learn more about SMUD’s Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling Program, visit smud.org/rebates or call 1-800-299-7573 to schedule a pickup time.

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