Someone's old fridge is about to get them $1000 - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Someone's old fridge is about to get them $1000


FRANKLIN (WKOW) -- In the rows and rows of refrigerators in a Franklin warehouse south of Milwaukee, sits the oldest fridge in the Badger state.

In a contest to encourage recycling, the owner of that refrigerator will earn $1,000, and considerable bragging rights.

Focus on Energy is teaming with the state's utilities in this effort. People have until Saturday night to call and arrange a refrigerator pick up to qualify it for contest consideration. The refrigerators must clean and working.

Focus on Energy's Rich Marshall helps a 27 News crew tour the assembly of old-school refrigerators, manufactured by the likes of General Electric, Crosley, Philco, Frigidaire and others.

Many of the older refrigerators have the cooling compressors on top of the box-type containers.

"These types of refrigerators, it's called 'the monitor top.' They came in around the 1920's."

Spurred by the contest and general, recycling outreach, Marshall says Focus on Energy has revised this year's appliance pick-up and recycled projections from 16,000 refrigerators, to 20,000.

Marshall says 95% of refrigerator components are recycled and repurposed. One corner section of the large warehouse is filled with bagged foam from old refrigerators. Staff members cut and gather panels off some of the older models, for shipment to an Ohio plant for machining and repurposing.

Marshall says the effort is an energy-saver. "These old refrigerators, old freezers use three times the electricity that a new model, energy-saving type refrigerator would use." Marshall also says replacing a decades-old refrigerator with one meeting current, energy-saving standards can save a consumer $150 annually.

Alan Barkoff of Madison harbors some skepticism over the energy-saving claims of trading-in old refrigerators for new models, citing production and fuel investments used in the process. But Barkoff decided to part with his General Electric Monitor Top and enter it in the contest.  A work crew removed it from his basement a few weeks ago.

"I just guessed it was from the forties, because I was born in '43," Barkoff tells 27 News. "it was cool."

Focus on Energy officials say serial numbers, manufacturer documents and internet research will be used to select the winning fridge next month.


MADISON (WKOW) -- Someone will soon receive $1000 for retiring and turning in Wisconsin's oldest refrigerator, in a contest put on by Focus on Energy.

The contest started in June and the final day to turn in refrigerators and freezers is Saturday, August 31.

Focus on Energy is taking the old appliances for free, while the person handing it over gets $50 for recycling and is entered into the oldest fridge contest. The appliances have to be electric, in working order, clean and empty. A maximum of two units per calendar year can be recycled.

Focus on Energy is taking all the old refrigerators to a recycling facility in Franklin and says it will reclaim 95% of the materials in the appliances for reuse in manufacturing new products.

27 News reporter Tony Galli will have more on this recycling effort and show us some of the refrigerators that Wisconsin residents have recycled tonight in 27 News at 5 and 6.

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