The Hidden Benefits of Refrigerator Recycling

**Update: This program is no longer available through Focus on Energy.**

You probably already know that recycling the extra fridge in your garage will lead to big savings on your energy bill, but recycling these appliances also has a huge impact on the environment that may be less obvious.

Saving Space in Landfills
Last year, Focus on Energy kept over 1.8 million pounds of metal out of Wisconsin landfills. The metal from refrigerators and freezers recycled through the program will be converted into new products and could be used in aerospace parts or bridges.

Proper Disposal of Hazardous Material
According to the EPA, older refrigerators may contain mercury, polychlorinated biphenyls and oil that needs to be properly handled and disposed of or recycled. Focus on Energy ensures that these substances are not released into the environment, which helps avoid carcinogenic and non-cancerous health effects.

Avoided Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Refrigerators and freezers manufactured before 2010 likely include chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) or hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerant. These substances accumulate in the stratosphere and contribute to the depletion of the ozone layer. We remove these substances, collect them in a closed system and send them to facilities for recycling so they’re not released into the atmosphere. Last year, we avoided 37,000 metric tons of GHG emissions. The benefit is equivalent to keeping 7,900 cars off the road for one year.

To contribute to these environmental benefits, commit to recycling your refrigerator or freezer. Schedule your free pick up now at

Posted March 2019. Updated December 2019.

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