If you're the owner of an old refrigerator and live in Wisconsin or Ohio, you could be in for a payday.
Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's state-wide efficiency program, and American Electric Power Ohio are each offering a prize of $1,000 to the owner of the oldest vintage refrigerator in their states in an effort to encourage appliance recycling.
The contests aim to raise the visibility of the current free-pickup recycling programs that offer a $50 rebate in exchange for old fridges in working order. According to Focus on Energy, new appliances can reuse 95 percent of the hazardous materials in the old machines, and swapping an old fridge from the 1980s will lower that power bill and conserve energy. Old fridges made before 1990 can guzzle three times the energy than their efficient, contemporary versions.
All those cash incentives might be enough to sever the any sentimental bond, the winner of this contest might feel bittersweet at the prospect of getting rid of an antique. If the winning fridge is anything like the winner from Pennsylvania's version of this contest—a handsome 1938 General Electric—that prize money might not be a welcome exchange. But with the prize at $1,000, you're already halfway toward a Smeg Retro Fridge if you can't live without that vintage look.
These contests are nothing new: American Electric Power Ohio has been doing this since 2009, and has recycled 49,000 old fridges as a part of the contest. And incentivized recycling programs are also relatively common: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and many other states and utility companies offer them (though they don't usually run contests for the oldest fridges).
If you're a resident of Wisconsin or Ohio and want to get rid of your old fridge and have a chance at $1,000, schedule your pickup by July 31st in Ohio or August 31st in Wisconsin.
Photo by Infrogmation of New Orleans via Wikimedia Commons