DTE Energy Customers Turn In More Than 1,000 Old Refrigerators to Company’s ‘Cash-for-Clunkers’ Appliance Recycling Program

August 12, 2009

LIVONIA, Mich., Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ — DTE Energy today began dismantling more than 1,000 old refrigerators turned in by customers of its Detroit Edison subsidiary as part of a “cash-for-clunkers” appliance recycling program the company launched in June. The appliances are being dismantled at a newly opened state-of-the-art recycling plant in Livonia.

“The removal of these old, inefficient refrigerators is an easy way for customers to make their homes more energy efficient. They can save money by using less energy- and help the environment at the same time,” said Steven Kurmas, Detroit Edison’s President and Chief Operating Officer. “We are very pleased with the response to the program and hope many more of our customers will decide to participate.”

DTE Energy’s appliance recycling program offers Detroit Edison customers $50 for their older model refrigerators and freezers and hauls them away for free.

Since 2001, federal standards require new refrigerators and freezers to consume less energy. Current models use about 450 kilowatt-hours (kWh) annually, compared to older units that use up to 1,500 kWh per year.

“Refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 1990 typically use three times more electricity than new appliances and can cost a typical household an average of $150 a year to run,” said Kurmas.

Located at 30957 Industrial Road in Livonia, the new recycling plant is expected to recycle more than 50,000 old, working refrigerators and freezers over the next three years – 30,000 of which will come from DTE Energy customers. The plant, which will create 20 new Michigan “green” jobs, is owned and operated by JACO Environmental, the company contracted by DTE Energy to recycle the appliances. JACO Environmental will de-manufacture the refrigerators using a mechanized process that prevents toxic oils, mercury and greenhouse gasses from escaping into the environment. Approximately 95 percent of each appliance will be recycled, keeping that material out of landfills.

When improperly discarded or dumped in landfills, older refrigerators and freezers can leach a host of toxic substances into the air and soil.

“They’re really environmental time-bombs unless properly handled,” said Michael Dunham, a member of the United Nations Environment Program task force and Director of Energy and Environmental Programs for JACO Environmental. “Foam insulation and coolant oils exposed to the air accelerate the buildup of greenhouse gases. JACO’s process safely recycles 95 percent of the materials from the older units. Even the foam is safely incinerated to generate electricity. The overall beneficial impact on global warming alone is equal to taking two cars off the road for a year.”

To schedule pick up of a refrigerator or freezer for recycling, DTE Energy Detroit Edison customers can call (866) 796-0512 or visit the company’s YourEnergySavings.com Web site. Customers will receive a check for $50 four to six weeks after the collection of the appliance.

Both refrigerators and freezers are eligible for the recycling program. The program is limited to removal of two units per household. Appliances to be recycled must be in working order with an inside measurement of 10 cubic feet or more.


Source: newswire

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