Most folks are getting into recycling mode when it comes to plastics, glass, and paper. But what about big ticket items, like your old refrigerator?

KYW’s Steve Tawa reports that Tom and Donna Wakeley of Cherry Hill, NJ said goodbye to their old refrigerator (bought in 1983) taking comfort knowing that the crew picking it up for free would recycle it and the state gave them a $50 rebate for the old appliance:

“We were just going to put it out on the curb on bulk pickup day.”

fridge NJ Program Encourages Trading Old Appliances for New

(Tom and Donna Wakeley get ready to bid their old fridge goodbye.)

Joseph Fiordaliso, commissioner of the state’s Board of Public Utilities (second from left), says the Wakeleys — and everyone else in New Jersey who trades in an old working fridge — qualifies for a rebate of up to $100 on a new “Energy Star”-rated refrigerator or freezer.

Older refrigerators manufactured before 1990 use up to three times more electricity than newer appliances.

Sam Sirkin (far left in photo) is with the appliance recycling firm Jaco Environmental:

“The whole idea of this program is that we’re taking working refrigerators off the grid.”

Sirkin says that 95 percent of the materials from the old fridges will be sent to re-use channels.   He says that removing the Freon from the cooling circuit and the foam insulation in the walls of the refrigerator  is the equivalent of taking two cars off the road for a year.

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