Editorial: Let Mass Save work for you

It sits there in the corner of the basement or garage, quietly keeping the beer cold, or preserving those bluefish caught last summer.

It’s an old refrigerator or freezer — and it’s sucking irreplaceable amperage out of the electrical grid, day after day, hour after hour.

It needs to be junked — recycled.

And now there’s an easy way to do that.

In the first two months of this year, Massachusetts residents have recycled more than 6,600 old refrigerators and freezers, using the services of Mass Save to get a free pickup and haul-away, plus a $50 check.

The state’s sponsors of Mass Save — Cape Light Compact, National Grid, NSTAR Electric, Unitil and Western Massachusetts Electric Co. — kicked off the program by offering residential electric customers cash for recycling old, second refrigerators and freezers through the Mass Save appliance recycling program.

“We are very pleased with the response to this promotion, and we encourage all residential electric customers to consider participating in the Mass Save appliance recycling program if they have an old, second refrigerator or freezer in their home,” said Tilak Subrahmanian, vice president of energy efficiency for Northeast Utilities, parent company of NSTAR and WMECO.

“Older refrigerators and freezers consume as much as four times more energy than newer, efficient models and that can really add up on your energy bill.”

After pick up, the old units are transported to a recycling facility where harmful materials are removed and properly disposed of, while the rest are recycled. Approximately 95 percent of the materials are reclaimed and re-purposed, officials say.

“During a winter when energy costs have been challenging for everyone in Massachusetts, saving money and energy through Mass Save is a fantastic opportunity for customers,” echoed Marcy Reed, president of National Grid in Massachusetts. “Enabling residents to reduce their electric bills, get rid of old appliances, and receive a rebate at the same time will help the commonwealth be greener and more prosperous going forward.”

To qualify for the recycling program, the utilities say, refrigerators and freezers must be clean, empty and in working order with an inside measurement of between 10 and 30 cubic feet, which is standard for most units.

Customers can call 1-877-545-4113 or visit www.masssave.com/recycle to learn more about the program and to schedule free pick up at their homes.

Mass Save is an initiative sponsored by Massachusetts’ gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers, which work closely with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to provide a wide range of services, incentives, trainings, and information promoting energy efficiency that help residents and businesses manage energy use and related costs.

Some years ago, utilities realized that if they spend money and effort on cutting usage, it could save them dollars they would otherwise spend on expanding generation and infrastructure.

If you’ve got an old fridge or freezer sitting around, we urge you to call and set up a pickup.

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