The PSE team was honored at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., with an award from the U.S. Department of Energy & ENERGY STARÂ’s Â“Recycle My Old FridgeÂ” refrigerator art contest. PSEÂ’s 1952 fridge door was recognized in the category of Â“The Art of Recycling: The Coolest Show in TownÂ” at the ceremony held at the National Building Museum.
The door, which is decorated with a life-size image of a retro-styled housewife, flowers made from refrigerator motor parts and the banner Â“Time to UnplugÂ” will remain on display at the museum indefinitely.
Sharon Kegley, market manager for Energy Efficiency Services for PSE, found the door on an informational tour through local refrigerator recycling organization, JACO Environmental. PSE and JACO are partners in a local refrigerator recycling program that offers a $30 rebate and free pick-up to PSE customers who contact JACO to decommission older refrigerators, which can use up to four times the energy of newer models.
Â“While investing in newer, more efficient appliances is a great way to reduce household energy use, throwing away an older, less energy efficient refrigerator is not a good long-term plan for the environment,Â” said Cal Shirley, vice president of Energy Efficiency Services for PSE. Â“Most people know not to throw away an old refrigerator, but donÂ’t realize how much energy it continues to use when left on in their basement or garage.Â”
Over the course of its two-year partnership with JACO Environmental, PSE has helped customers recycle more than 6,000 refrigerators. Once a unit has been picked up from a customerÂ’s home, JACO removes all the toxic materials (such as Freon), disassembles the shell and interior, and then sorts the materials by glass, metal, plastic, and insulation for reuse.
Â“We used parts from inside the refrigerator to drive home the message that almost all parts of the old units can be reused,Â” said Kegley. Other Energy Efficiency Services team members involved in creating the winning door were: Mary Carnes, program implementer, whose image graces the outside; Sandra Palmer, senior market analyst; Danny Grady, Powerful Choices facilitator, and Jane Howard, Powerful Choices facilitator. All work at the utilityÂ’s Bellevue offices.