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Refrigerator recycling campaign spawns unique art exhibit

An ENERGY STAR campaign to promote the recycling of refrigerators resulted in an art exhibit that filled the Great Hall of the National Building Museum with old refrigerators.

“The Art of Recycling: The Coolest Act in Town” exhibit featured about 50 old refrigerators that were decorated by students, institutions, utility companies, private organizations, and individuals.

Visitors to the exhibit could vote on the models they like best, and a panel of judges selected the top three entries based on which is the coolest, makes the best use of recycled materials, is the most creative, and portrays the campaign theme best.

Located in Washington, D.C., the National Building Museum serves as a venue for informed, reasoned debate about the built environment and its impact on people's lives. Visit the National Building Museum web site.

The exhibit is part of the Recycle My Old Fridge Campaign, an ENERGY STAR campaign that encourages people to recycle their old refrigerators and freezers and, if necessary, replace them with new ENERGY STAR-qualified models.

That old fridge that’s keeping the beverages cool in your basement could be costing you well over $100 per year to operate, as could the relatively newer fridge sitting in your kitchen. Recycling unnecessary fridges and upgrading other fridges to the latest ENERGY STAR models could dramatically cut your electricity bill.

The ENERGY STAR program is a joint effort of DOE and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and as of April 28, all new ENERGY STAR-qualified refrigerators must be at least 20% more energy efficient than fridges meeting the minimum federal standard.

If all the pre-1993 refrigerators in the United States were replaced with ENERGY STAR-rated models, the electricity saved would be enough to power more than 8.1 million homes.