Michigan Elementary Students Get Behind-the-Scenes Look at Refrigerator Recycling Process

FridgeRecycle
Students learn that 95 percent of the materials from a recycled refrigerator return to the manufacturing stream. Recycle your second fridge or freezer and get $50. Learn more at http://www.ConsumersEnergy.com/recycle.

Alto Elementary students toured an appliance demanufacturing plant May 14 and watched their school’s old refrigerator begin a journey of transformation into new recycled materials.

The field trip also highlighted how anyone with an aging, energy-wasting refrigerator or freezer can transform their old clunker into as much as $150 a year worth of saved energy — and an extra $50 reward from Consumers Energy.

Operated by JACO Environmental, a Consumers Energy contractor, the Grand Rapids plant recycles old refrigerators and freezers, repurposing 95 percent of their materials back into the manufacturing stream.

For Consumers Energy customers, the process works by paying them a $50 incentive for having older, inefficient refrigerators and freezers picked up at their homes.

For students, the tour of the Grand Rapids plant offered an inside look at how technology and innovation can save energy, create jobs and conserve natural resources. Students signed their old school refrigerator before it went through the demanufacturing process, and Consumers Energy provided a new, efficient ENERGY STAR® refrigerator to Alto Elementary School to replace it. To check out a video of the refrigerator demanufacturing process go to: http://youtu.be/THJfjkTy6H8.

Alto Fridge
Alto Elementary Students watched their old fridge travel through the demanufacturing process.

“It’s important to teach kids to be good stewards of our natural resources,” said Consumers Energy Program Manager Theresa Schmidt. “This field trip shows students firsthand about alternatives to landfills, and ways to safely and responsibly recycle and repurpose items for future use.”

Consumers Energy customers can schedule a free pickup by calling (877) 270-3519, or by visiting www.ConsumersEnergy.com/recycle. Refrigerators and freezers must be in working order with an inside measurement of between 10 and 30 cubic feet — standard size for most units. A maximum of two units per household a year will be accepted. The $50 incentive checks arrive by mail six to eight weeks after the appliances are picked up.