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Cash for Clunkers Comes to the Kitchen with Fridge Recycling Program

DTE Energy this week announced that it had taken in more than 1,000 old and inefficient refrigerators through a trade-in program operated by its Detroit Edison subsidiary.
The "cash for clunkers" spinoff will take the old appliances and dismantle them at a new recycling plant in Livonia. Detroit Edison customers who turned in the clunkers received $50 in trade and the utility company arranged for the fridges to be hauled away for free.

"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," Steven Kurmas, Detroit Edison's President and Chief Operating Officer said in a statement. "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."

Federal standards require refrigerators and freezers built since 2001 to be more energy efficient, currently to consume no more than 486 kilowatt-hours per year; older units can use as much 1,500 kWh per year.

The new recycling facility in Livonia will take those 1,000 refrigerators, as well as about 50,000 more over the next three years, and disassemble them. The process prevents toxic oils, mercury and greenhouse gases from being released, and about 95 percent of each appliance will get recycled.

DTE Energy expects to receive about 30,000 clunker refrigerators from its customers in the next three years. More details about the company's recycling program is availabe at DTE Energy's website.

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