Save Money and Support the Environment with Appliance Recycling

Cape Light Compact and its fellow Mass Save® Sponsors operate several appliance recycling programs to help customers safely dispose of their refrigerators, freezers, and dehumidifiers. These no-cost recycling programs offer a convenient way to remove old, inefficient units from your home or small business, plus provide rebates to customers for participating. In addition to delivering savings to individual homes and businesses, these programs also provide community-wide benefits by decreasing energy use, lowering carbon emissions, and reducing waste accumulation in landfills. In this blog, we’ll explore the cumulative benefits generated by past participation in these recycling programs and how we can continue accruing these benefits in the future.

Responsible Appliance Disposal

Since 2011, the Compact has participated in the EPA’s Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program. This voluntary program works by ensuring participating partners dispose of refrigeration appliances, such as freezers and refrigerators, using environmental best practices, which are more stringent than what federal law requires. Following these best practices, program partners collect recyclable materials, such as metal and plastic, for reuse; recover insulating foam that may contain both ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases; and safely drain and contain refrigerant and hazardous components, like mercury.

Fridge and Freezer Recycling Program

The Fridge and Freezer Recycling Program is the largest recycling program offered by the Compact. Whether your primary refrigerator is old and inefficient or you have a secondary one that you infrequently use, your appliance may be a source of energy waste; this program provides a convenient, safe way to dispose of it. Upon scheduling an appointment, the Compact will provide no-cost pickup. You’ll also receive a rebate: for a limited time, the rebate is increased to $125, a 67% increase over the traditional $75 offer. Visit the Mass Save website for full details about eligibility, including a video on how you can arrange a contactless pickup during the COVID-19 pandemic. To schedule your pickup, you can call 1-877-889-4761 or complete our online application.

What additional benefits can result from participating in this program? From 2011 through 2019, the Compact’s customers have collectively achieved the following:*

  • Safely recycled over 7,200 refrigerators and freezers;
  • Avoided approximately 977,000 pounds of ferrous metal (such as steel), 44,000 pounds of non-ferrous metal (such as copper), and 111,000 pounds of plastic from entering landfills
  • Ensured the safe handling of more than 500 gallons of oil;
  • Reduced lifetime energy use by over 45 million kWh, resulting in approximately $8.9 million in lifetime savings for customers; and
  • Avoided the emission of around 108 million pounds of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases, which is the same quantity of emissions avoided by removing over 10,600 passenger vehicles from the road for one year.

Dehumidifier Turn-in Events

Another program the Compact and its fellow Mass Save Sponsors offer that complies with RAD requirements is the Dehumidifier Recycling Program. Dehumidifiers are commonly used around the Cape and Vineyard to reduce indoor humidity during late spring, summer, and early fall. Since dehumidifiers run continually, it’s best to use ENERGY STAR® certified models, which use less than a quarter of the energy of a non-certified model. If you’re looking to upgrade your unit, you can receive a $30 rebate for the purchase of a qualifying model, plus you can get an additional $30 rebate for recycling your old unit at one of our no-cost turn-in events, which we add throughout the year.

At just one turn-in event in September 2020, Compact customers recycled almost 200 units, leading to an estimated 121,000 kWh in lifetime energy savings, avoided emissions of approximately 190,000 pounds of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases, and lifetime savings of approximately $15,000 for customers.*

Opportunities Moving Forward

To all those customers who have already participated in one or more of our appliance recycling programs, thank you for helping make our communities cleaner and healthier by retiring your old, inefficient appliances and ensuring they are safely disposed of. We encourage all our customers to take advantage of these no-cost recycling programs the next time you consider updating your refrigerator, freezer, or dehumidifier. To learn more about these offers and how to participate, visit CapeLightCompact.org/Appliance-Rebates.

*Values were determined by drawing upon data from RAD reporting, the Massachusetts electronic Technical Reference Manual (eTRM), and the ENERGY STAR® Certified Products 2020 Data Book.