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Frequently Asked Questions

Fridge and Freezer Recycling Program

  1. How much will I save?
  2. What parts are reused and recycled?
  3. What is a “clear path of removal” ?
  4. Why can’t I specify a preferred time for pickup when I schedule my appointment?
  5. Why don’t you donate the refrigerators to charity?
  6. What if my unit doesn’t qualify? How can I get rid of it?
  7. I plan to buy a new refrigerator, should I use your program to take away my old one?
  8. How do I get my two free LED bulbs?


  9. 1. How much will I save?

    Older refrigerators use two to three times more energy than today’s efficient units. They can use up to 1,400 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy a year. If we assume 7¢ per kWh, old, inefficient units can cost up to $98 per year to run. Actual results will depend on the age, condition and type of unit, as well as your average electricity rate. Also, if you replace the unit with a newer unit, you will only see the savings difference between the older and the newer unit.

    2. What parts are reused and recycled?

    Our program partner, Appliance Recycling Centers of America, Inc. (ARCA), uses an extensive dismantling process that reuses and recycles up to 95 percent of the unit including:

    • Oils and refrigerants
    • Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
    • Mercury-containing switches and thermostats
    • Glass
    • Insulation
    • Metals

    Parts that cannot be reused or recycled are disposed of according to local, state and federal environmental and safety regulations.

    3. What is a “clear path of removal” ?

    ARCA crews will verify the unit is working and then remove it from your home. To ensure the safety of the crew and protect your home from damage, a clear path must exist between the refrigerator and an outside door. Crews cannot move furniture or items that may be in the path. If crews are concerned they cannot safely remove the unit, customers will be given the option to reschedule the pickup for a later date.

    4. Why can’t I specify a preferred time for pickup when I schedule my appointment?

    ARCA’s pickup crews work to optimize collection routes, thereby minimizing vehicle miles traveled, fuel used and reducing overall vehicle emissions associated with pickups. Pickups are scheduled by geographic region. Several days prior to pickup, all orders in that region are evaluated and the most optimal pickup route is mapped. Customers are then contacted and given a pickup timeframe.

    5. Why don’t you donate the refrigerators to charity?

    The purpose of the Fridge and Freezer Recycling Program is to retire older energy intensive units and reduce energy use in our area. By ensuring the units are dismantled and parts reused or recycled, we keep these units from continuing to contribute to our energy load. In addition, older units built before 1995 use a lot more energy than newer models. If the unit is donated, the new owner will be saddled with the expense of running it. If you are looking for a second-hand refrigerator, look for a model built after 1995 when efficiency standards were strengthened nationwide.

    6. What if my unit doesn’t qualify? How can I get rid of it?

    Units that no longer work or do not meet the size requirements will not qualify for this program. You can still dispose of them responsibly. Contact your local landfill or waste hauler to see what options are available in your area. Most landfills offer appliance recycling and some offer pickup services. Landfills are required to remove the refrigerants according to state and federal regulations and many recycle parts of the unit. In Idaho, the Department of Environmental Quality also maintains a recycling directory, listing recycling options throughout the state.

    7. I plan to buy a new refrigerator, should I use your program to take away my old one?

    When delivering your new unit, many retailers offer free haul away of your old unit. Idaho Power encourages you to use these free haul away services. It will save you time and hassle as the delivery and haul away occur at the same time.

    8. How do I get my two free LED bulbs?

    The two free LED bulbs will be delivered at the time of pickup. Limit of two free LED bulbs per pickup.

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