NYSEG tip can save you money

By Perry Russom

July 22, 2014 Updated Jul 22, 2014 at 11:19 PM EDT

Ithaca, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Is your energy bill too high?

NYSEG says there's an easy way to bring the bill down by making sure your refrigerator is energy efficient.

"You're reducing your energy use and you're reducing your energy cost, so we encourage people to take a look at the program," said Clayton Ellis of NYSEG.

The program he's talking about is fridge recycling.

When you buy that new ice box, NYSEG said you'll potentially save more than $100 a year on your bill. They'll even pick up the old one at no cost.

"These older units tend to use more energy than these newer units do," said Ellis.

Jim Rothenberg had his 23-year-old refrigerator wheeled away on Tuesday.

His fridge will be one of the 30,000 to be re-purposed since the program started in 2011.

"It's still working, but we knew that it was energy very inefficient," said Rothenberg.

Now that Rothenberg has the new refrigerator, he should be able to save up to $150 every year on his energy bill, according to NYSEG.

On top of the annual savings on the energy bill, NYSEG gives customers a $50 check for the hunk of metal.

"We recycle 95 percent of the refrigerator," said Leigh Winterbottom of JACO Environmental.

Once the fridges are handed over, they're trucked to Syracuse where they're stripped apart.

Metal is melted down into things like nails and rebar.

Plastic is used in laptops and cell phones, and the glass is mixed with concrete.

"If you're ever driving on the road and you see a sparkly road or a sparkly sidewalk, that's glass from your refrigerator," said Winterbottom.

NYSEG says now it's eclipsed 30,000 fridges, the next goal is 50,000.