Recycling program reaches milestone

More than 5 million kilowatts of energy saved so far

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COEUR d'ALENE - A refrigerator and freezer recycling program offered by Avista recently celebrated an important milestone - saving more than 5 million kilowatt-hours of energy. That's enough energy to power the homes of almost 450 Avista customers for a year.

The program savings come from removing more than 7,800 energy-wasting appliances from the grid, providing financial benefits to participating customers and environmental benefits to the community at large.

Electric customers participating in Avista's four-year-old appliance recycling program can receive a $30 rebate for having their working pre-1990 refrigerators and freezers picked up at their homes and recycled. In addition, removing an old, inefficient, second refrigerator could save a customer as much as $100 a year in energy costs.

These older, second units are usually kept in garages and basements and typically require up to four times more electricity to operate than newer, more energy-efficient models.

The outdated units are picked up by JACO Environmental and transported to a Spokane recycling area, where 95 percent of the appliances are de-manufactured into recyclable materials, taking further pressure off our natural resources.

Using national benchmarks, each recycled unit benefits the environment as much as taking two cars off the road for a year, creating cleaner air and saving natural resources.

"There are few ways that instantly create so many benefits for our customers and for our environment as getting rid of an old garage or basement refrigerator. If you are ready to give one up, our program can help you save energy and the hassle of disposal," said Chris Drake, Avista's manager of energy efficiency programs.

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