Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I recycle my old refrigerator?
Because it saves you money and is good for the environment. You'll get $30 from Seattle City Light, and save about $150 annually on your electricity bill.* Over its lifetime an old refrigerator can be responsible for up to 10 tons of CO2, a primary contributor to global warming.
* Estimate based on appliance consumption of 1,500 kWh per year at $0.1071 per kWh.
How do I know if my unit qualifies?
You qualify if:
What is the difference between the $30 Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling rebate and the $50 Refrigerator Replacement Rebate?
- You are a Seattle City Light Customer
- Your refrigerator or freezer is in working condition.
- It is a secondary unit, not your primary kitchen refrigerator.
- It is residential style refrigerator or freezer between 10 and 30 cubic feet.
- It was manufactured before 2001
- It is clean.
- Unit is owned by the rebate recipient. Limited to 2 units per address.
- You are not also applying for the $50 Energy Star Refrigerator Replacement Rebate.
The $30 Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling rebate targets older, secondary refrigerators or freezers that are typically located in the basement or garage. The $50 Refrigerator Replacement Rebate program helps customers upgrade their existing primary refrigerator to a more energy-efficient model, while ensuring the old unit is taken off the grid. You are not eligible for the $30 rebate to satisfy the recycling requirement of the $50 rebate.
Isn't it better to keep using old refrigerators rather than throw them away?
No. Refrigerator efficiency has improved so dramatically, that getting the old ones off the power grid makes good environmental sense. Our process recycles over 95% of the materials in the refrigerators - almost nothing goes to the landfill.
What happens to my refrigerator after it is taken away?
Do I have to take my refrigerator out to the curb?
- Your fridge will be taken to ARCA's Kent facility, where a core sample is drilled to see what type of insulation it contains.
- Chemicals and oils will be recycled, including ozone depleting CFCs, mercury switches, and PCBs.
- If the insulating foam contains CFCs, the refrigerator will be sawed into three pieces, the foam removed, and sent to a waste-to-energy facility for processing and destruction
- Metals, plastics, and glass are recycled
- What little remains is sent to a landfill
No. In fact we want to make sure it still works, so keep it in the home and plugged in.
How much energy will be saved through this program?
Seattle City Light expects to recycle 2,000 refrigerators and freezers per year, saving 1 million kilowatt hours per year. That's enough electricity to power 111 City Light residences and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 600 metric tons. That's like taking over 132 Seattle cars off the road!
How do I get my rebate check?
Your check will be mailed to you 4 -8 weeks after your refrigerator or freezer has been picked up.
What if I don't get my electricity from Seattle City Light?
Customers in Snohomish County can apply for a similar program through the Snohomish County PUD. The rebate is also available for residents receiving electricity from Tacoma Power.