1/24/2020

    'Oldest Fridge' Dates to 1937

    Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is accustomed to collecting old refrigerators as part of its Appliance Recycling Program that benefits both customers and the environment. Last fall, a number of customers put “old” into perspective.

    Because newer refrigerators are much more energy-efficient than those made years ago, customers use less electricity when they discontinue using them. I&M helps customers dispose of qualified old refrigerators by picking them up for recycling and providing a $40 rebate.

    To help spur interest in the program, I&M held an “Oldest Fridge Contest”. Over a six-week period, I&M collected 722 refrigerators for recycling. Generally, refrigerators made before 1993 are markedly less efficient. Indeed, 273 of the units collected were made before 1990 – the year Americans first saw the phrase “you’ve got mail” online.

    Sixty-four refrigerators were made before 1980 – the year Ronald Reagan was first elected President

    Two dozen of the refrigerators were more than a half-century ago.

    Three were made before 1950.

    The oldest refrigerator I&M collected was a General Electric “Monitor-Top” made in 1937. 

    Following the death of her father last summer, a Fort Wayne woman and her husband were going through items left in his home. The Navy veteran had worked at General Electric in Fort Wayne for 42 years and had held onto the refrigerator, which he received from a relative.

    The couple had no practical need for the large – and quite heavy – refrigerator. A friend had mentioned that I&M recycles old refrigerators, so the woman called the utility – around the time that the Oldest Fridge Contest was beginning. I&M’s vendor made sure the refrigerator was a working model, as required by the recycling program, before cutting the cord to prevent further use.

    She received a gift card for having the oldest fridge, along with five additional customers who had refrigerators older than 1955.

    The Monitor-Top is considered the first mass-produced refrigerator and was first developed in Fort Wayne GE facilities, with production beginning in Fort Wayne and Schenectady, N.Y. in 1927.

    The “Monitor-Top" moniker is in reference to the round compressor-condenser unit on top, which some considered reminiscent of the innovative round turret atop the Civil War-era ship USS Monitor.  

    More than 95% of the material in refrigerators picked up as part of the program are recycled. For example, about 140 pounds of metal are recovered from a typical refrigerator. Materials including glass, plastic, switches and capacitors are recovered from refrigerators and recycled or, if hazardous, disposed of safely.

    “Participating in I&M’s Appliance Recycling Program is a winning move on a number of levels,” said Danny Robertson, Energy Efficiency & Consumer Program Coordinator. “It’s a free pickup of a large heavy object; it reduces energy use; it’s good for the environment; and qualified customers receive a $40 rebate.”

    I&M residential customers interested in recycling their refrigerator can learn more at IndianaMichiganPower.com/ApplianceRecycling or by calling 800-253-5661. The refrigerator and/or freezer must be empty and working when picked up; must be 10-30 cubic feet in size (inside measurement); and the customer must own the unit being recycled or receive consent from their landlord.

    #  #  #

    Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,370 employees serve more than 597,000 customers. More than half of its generation is emission-free, including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,600 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

    American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s more than 17,000 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 219,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.4 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 32,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including 4,300 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana and east Texas). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide.

    Tracy Warner
    Indiana Michigan Power Communications
    (260) 408-3420
    tkwarner@aep.com

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