Appliance Recycling

Sep 27, 2013

Bruce: With me today is Maureen Fennerty, a custom programs specialist with PPL electric utilities.

Maureen: Thanks for having me, Bruce.

Bruce: Maureen, I noticed something in the news this summer about PPL Electric
Utilities and appliance recycling. As the person who helps manage this program for the utility, can you fill us in on how it works and how our listeners can get involved?

Maureen: Absolutely. We launched appliance recycling in late 2009 as one of our E-power energy efficiency programs. We’re now in the second phase of those E-power programs and appliance recycling remains part of the program line-up. There are a lot of older, inefficient refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners
out there and the goal of this program is to get them off the grid to help customers save energy and money.

Bruce: What are the particulars?

Maureen: It’s an easy and convenient process for our customers and they get $35 for recycling a refrigerator or freezer and $25 for recycling a room air conditioner. We don’t come out specifically for a room air conditioner, but will take them if we’re also picking up a refrigerator or freezer. Customers can call toll-free at 1-877-270-3522 or go online at slash recycle to schedule a pickup appointment that suits their schedule. Then, crews from our program contractor, JACO Environmental, will come to remove the unit from its location in the home, be it the kitchen, basement or garage.  All appliances to be recycled must be in working order. Refrigerators and freezers must be between 10 and 30 cubic feet, using inside measurements.

Bruce: What happens to these appliances after they are collected?

Maureen: They’re taken to JACO’s state-of-the-art recycling facility in Hatfield, Montgomery County, where nearly all the components are recycled for beneficial uses. The added benefit is that these appliances don’t find their way into local landfills.

Bruce: How are things going so far?

Maureen: In the first phase of E-power programs, we recycled more than 55,000 appliances, mostly refrigerators and freezers. Customers are responding well to the program. The news item you mentioned earlier referred to our kickoff of Phase 2 and the announcement that we’re shooting to top 100,000 appliances by the time the second phase ends in mid-2016.

Bruce: How much can someone save by recycling their old appliance?

Maureen: Many of the units we recycle are second appliances, often stored in basements or garages. It can cost as much as $150 more a year to run one of these units compared to a new ENERGY STAR model. That’s a lot to pay to chill a case of beer or soda.

Bruce: Does PPL offer incentives on new, ENERGY STAR appliances?

Maureen: We do – for refrigerators. The E-power program offers a $25 rebate. There also are rebates on air source heat pumps, heat pump water heaters and more. Information can be found at

Bruce: You mentioned you’re now in the second phase of your E-power programs. Can you report on how the first phase went?

Maureen: Helping our customers save energy and money is the right thing to do. They responded in a big way. More than 9.7 million CFLs were distributed through approximately 400 stores and at community events. And, we processed a quarter million rebates. The associated reduction of annual greenhouse gas emissions was equivalent of about 198,000 passenger vehicles.

Bruce: That’s pretty impressive. Do you think Phase 2 will be just as successful?

Maureen: We believe so. With 1.4 million customers, there still is a lot of potential
savings out there. We continue to spread the energy efficiency word in many
different ways --- including through our customer newsletter, through our website
and social media, and of course through great programs