Earth Day lesson: How to filet a fridge

By Matt Porter

April 22, 2014 Updated Apr 22, 2014 at 6:53 PM EDT

Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Vestal students learn the ins and outs of recycling your old refrigerator for this year's Earth Day celebration.

The Clayton Avenue Elementary School students learned from professionals from NYSEG about how its contractors recycle refrigerators.

Fifth grade student Emma Caffrey said taking part in recycling a real refrigerator showed her all the different parts that can be recycled.

"I thought it was really cool because you got to use a lot of cool materials like the scraper thing to take out the foam and you got to pull out the plastic," Caffrey said.

Contractors showed students how they rip apart each cooler into different pieces that can be recycled for plastic in laptops or materials for cement.

When thrown away, refrigerators can release any number of dangerous chemicals into the ground, water, and air.

Experts say only about 10 percent of the nation's refrigerators are recycled properly.

"If you take a ride out into the country you can see refrigerators just dumped out on the roadside," said NYSEG spokesperson Clayton Ellis, "Certainly that's not good for anything. It's much more appropriate and much less wasteful if we take care of it properly."

NYSEG will pay people $50 to pick up their old refrigerators. Ellis said you could save up to $150 in energy costs by buying a new more energy efficient one.

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