PPL Electric Utilities customers have already recycled more than 55,000 appliances as part of the utility's E-power® appliance recycling program.

Now, the bar is being set higher.

Now that the E-power energy-efficiency programs have begun a three-year second phase, the utility has set a goal to increase that tally to at least 100,000 older appliances, said Maureen Fenerty, a customer programs specialist for the company.

"Our customers understand the value of appliance recycling to help them save money on energy costs and do so in an environmentally beneficial way," Fenerty said. "We hope the ease of our recycling program encourages many of our customers to participate with their older refrigerators, freezers and room air conditioners."

Customers who recycle old, inefficient appliances get rid of electricity hogs while also helping the environment. The utility's program recycles 95 percent of the materials for reuse in making new products, meaning those units don't end up in landfills. Even the foam insulation is safely burned to generate electricity.

"With a service territory spanning 29 counties and nearly 1.4 million customers, there certainly is a lot of potential for many more old appliances to be removed from kitchens, garages and basements to be recycled," Fenerty said. "Older units can cost up to $150 more a year to operate than newer ENERGY STAR® models."

PPL Electric Utilities' customers receive $35 for recycling their old refrigerator or freezer. Units are picked up at no cost to the customer.

To illustrate the value of appliance recycling, the utility recently conducted a Filet-O-Fridge demonstration outside its Lehigh Service Center near Allentown.

An old refrigerator, literally sliced in half, was on display to show materials that can be reclaimed. It included a show of beneficial re-use for things such as glass, metal and oil.

Customers can schedule a time to have their appliance picked up by calling 1-877-270-3522 or visiting: www.pplelectric.com/recycle.

The program is limited to the removal of two units per household per calendar year. Refrigerators or freezers to be recycled must be in working order and be between 10 and 30 cubic feet.

"We invite any customer who's been thinking about recycling that old refrigerator or freezer that might be sitting in their garage or basement to participate in the program," Fenerty said.

The utility's appliance recycling program is conducted in concert with JACO Environmental, a company that also conducts appliance recycling for many other utilities in Pennsylvania. Appliances recycled by PPL Electric Utilities customers are dismantled at a JACO facility in Hatfield, Montgomery County.

PPL Electric Utilities Corporation, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation that provides electricity delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania, consistently ranks among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.