Seattle City Light JIM BAGGS, Interim General Manager and CEO
Conservation | Appliances

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:
  • You are a Seattle City Light Customer
  • Your refrigerator or freezer is in working condition.
  • 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.
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?
  1. Your fridge will be taken to ARCA's Kent facility, where a core sample is drilled to see what type of insulation it contains.
  2. Chemicals and oils will be recycled, including ozone depleting CFCs, mercury switches, and PCBs.
  3. 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
  4. Metals, plastics, and glass are recycled
  5. What little remains is sent to a landfill
Do I have to take my refrigerator out to the curb?
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.

How do I schedule the removal of my old working refrigerator or freezer?
To schedule your working refrigerator or freezer to be hauled away for free: call 206-233-COLD (2653) or sign-up online. Schedule your pick-up soon to be sure of a convenient pick-up time – the very last day to schedule an appointment is September 15.

If this is such a good thing to do, why is City Light ending the program?
Seattle City Light has provided this service for almost 10 years and has recycled nearly 18,000 appliances. Many fewer old units are still in service than when the program started and most of these will meet the end of their natural lives in the very near future. Because of this, Seattle City Light, along with regional evaluators, has determined that after September this program will no longer meet our cost-effectiveness criteria for efficiency efforts.

Yen Chin, Appliances, LaundryWise and WashWise For more information from Seattle City Light on appliances, please e-mail or call 206.684.3800.
If you have questions, contact us at:
or call (206) 684-3800

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