UPPCO holds appliance recycling event in Houghton

Fridges, freezers, AC units, and more were welcomed in exchange for credit on participants’ accounts.
Another one is happening soon in Marquette
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 7:52 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - On Friday, Copper Country residents had the opportunity to drop off unwanted appliances at Ed’s Auto Parts and Salvage in Houghton.

The drop-off was organized by the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO). Fridges, freezers, AC units, and more were accepted.

The event is part of UPPCO’s Energy Efficiency Portfolio.

“We want to recycle these appliances to get them off the grid, essentially,” said UPPCO Energy Efficiency Program Manager Eric Heim. “So, you have that fridge in the house, it’s from the 90′s, it’s good old faithful. Maybe you want to get rid of it and get a newer fridge in the house. We want to recycle that old inefficient unit so it doesn’t end up in the woods.”

For each unit recycled, UPPCO applied a credit to participants’ accounts.

“We brought in an old refrigerator. It’s a completely operable refrigerator, we just replaced it with a new one,” said appliance recycler Alan Kiley. “And it’s been sitting in the garage for and we really weren’t using it and thought this was an opportunity to instead of paying someone to get rid of it, we could get rid and get a little credit on our bill.

Some also brought appliances to prevent them from going to landfills.

“I’m donating a dehumidifier, and the reason I would like to do that is so it doesn’t end up in a landfill somewhere,” said Karen Sapino. “And hopefully will be repurposed into something better.”

UPPCO says it also has environmental reasons for offering the event.

“Normally you would have to pay to recycle these units because they contain freon, which is a chemical that depletes the Ozone Layer,” continued Heim. “When we recycle them, we responsibly take care of the freon. So we hire someone to get rid of the freon in an environmentally-safe way.”

Although the event is over, you can still recycle your appliances at Ed’s

UPPCO plans to hold another recycling event in the Marquette area around mid-September. For more information on the Energy Efficiency Portfolio, click here.

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