April 19, 2014

Owners of old refrigerators get $1,000

Oldest Fridge_2Wisconsin’s oldest refrigerator is pretty old.

The oldest icebox in Wisconsin dates back to 1931 — at least among the thousands entered into a statewide contest — and there were three of them from that same year that won the “Oldest Fridge Contest” sponsored by the state’s Focus on Energy program.

Spokesperson Sarah Platt says many folks keep an old fridge as a back up. The freezer or fridge is in the basement or garage “and they just have a few items in there, maybe beer or soda. They can really be ‘energy hogs’. So it’s just really not worth having those plugged in. It’s really worth considering taking them off the grid and recycling them.”

In order to promote the state’s appliance recycling program — which utility customers help pay for — Wisconsin Focus on Energy held a contest in which anyone could get their old fridge hauled away and recycled for free. Platt says almost the entire unit is recycled. “We recycle 95 percent of the refrigerator or freezer and we dispose of all those materials in an environmentally friendly manner. It’s really a win-win for everyone. We’ll come to pick it up. “The incentive is $50.”

Individuals receive 50 bucks in exchange for an old fridge, and the three winners with the 82-year-old refrigerators each took home $1,000.

Platt hopes all the attention gets more people to recycle their energy hogs and buy a new energy-efficient refrigerator. You can easily find out whether your fridge is an energy hog, and learn about other ways to save money by contacting Focus on Energy for an energy audit.