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 SYRACUSE, N.Y., Feb. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- According to Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. (NYSE: NMK) and PLANERGY New York Inc., old refrigerators never die. They just get carried away. Niagara Mohawk is recycling 34,000 second refrigerators because it saves money, conserves energy, and protects our environment.
 The Syracuse-based utility has announced that Refrigerator Roundup has met over half its goal. Niagara Mohawk, through this innovative conservation and energy efficiency program, will recycle 34,000 second refrigerators from customers during the four-year program. Since the beginning of the project in 1991, 17,350 refrigerators have been collected. The program is being implemented by PLANERGY New York, Inc., an independent contractor to Niagara Mohawk.
 Dennis Flack, PLANERGY New York's director, said, "We have reached the midway point in a program that is even more successful than we imagined. The program has helped save more than 24 million kilowatt hours of energy. That's enough power to provide 3,344 residences with electricity for a year. Utilities and their customers across the country could benefit from implementing similar refrigerator recycling programs."
 Flack added that the program has been successful because people have gotten the message that everyone benefits. "For customers, the environment, and Niagara M cash rebate for their second operating refrigerators. Putting these inefficient appliances out of service enables Niagara Mohawk to continue to meet increased demand and serve a growing customer base, without adding generating capacity.
 The Refrigerator Roundup project will reduce electrical demand up to 5.1 MW over the life of the program. Furthermore, the refrigerators are disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. When completed, the plan will reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by roughly 238,000 pounds per year, sulfur dioxide emissions by 147,000 pounds annually, carbon dioxide emissions by over 38,000 tons annually, and particulate emissions by approximately 13,000 pounds per year.
 Niagara Mohawk residential customers with a spare refrigerator, in continuous service, can call Refrigerator Roundup at 800-836-1010 to find out if their refrigerator qualifies. A Refrigerator Roundup representative will then schedule a pickup time to go to the customer's home and remove the extra refrigerator. The customer will then be given a $50 check at the time of pickup for discarding their refrigerator.
 Participants must be residential customers of Niagara Mohawk, and have two working refrigerators in their home. The spare unit removed must be standard size (minimum 10 cubic feet). Both refrigerators must be operational, and functioning when the Refrigerator Roundup representative arrives at the customer's home. In addition, the customer must sign a form verifying that both refrigerators have been continuously operating for the 60 days immediately prior to qualifying. ONLY ONE refrigerator will be picked up per customer for the lifetime of the program. Refrigerators being replaced by new ones do not qualify.
 Refrigerator Roundup saves Niagara Mohawk customers money on their electric bills, and they get rid of a refrigerator that they don't need. Plus, these older refrigerators are inefficient energy guzzlers which cost the average household $150 a year to run, and can consume up to one-third of the electricity used in many homes. Over the remaining life of a second refrigerator, a customer could save over $1,000 if it is disconnected.
 Refrigerator Roundup also benefits the environment. Each refrigerator is disposed of in an environmentally safe manner. All of the metal in every refrigerator collected is recycled. This eliminates serious landfill problems presented by discarded refrigerators. In an era of overflowing landfills, this is a major plus.
 Most importantly, Refrigerator Roundup removes and recycles chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) refrigerants. This environmentally sound approach ensures that these gases are reused and not allowed into the atmosphere, where they can further deplete the ozone layer.
 All refrigerator capacitors (some contain PCB's) are placed in a New York Department of Transportation approved container and hauled to an environmental protection agency approved site by permitted transporters. The remaining components of the refrigerator are delivered to local scrap dealers for recycling.
 The economic value of this program to Niagara Mohawk stems from the net reduction of electrical demand on the company's system, and a reduction in fuel costs. Marty Nott, director of marketing programs at Niagara Mohawk, notes: "This program is an environmental benefit for our customers, and an energy benefit for Niagara Mohawk. By reducing energy demand and helping customers save money on their energy bills, Niagara Mohawk helps keep rates low by postponing the need for new power plant construction.
 "Also, environmentally damaging by-products of fossil-fuel production associated with electric generation are reduced."
 -0- 2/18/93
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Black and white photography is available upon request and Dennis Flack is available for comments/
 /CONTACT: Julie Kopfer of Hanbury & Associates, Inc., 315-422-4902, for Niagara Mohawk Power Corp./

CO: Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. ST: New York IN: UTI SU:

BM -- CL003 -- 7710 02/18/93 09:03 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 18, 1993
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