Salt River Project (SRP) has hauled away 50,000 old, inefficient refrigerators since the company started its Appliance Recycling Program in 2008.

The 50,000th refrigerator was hauled away from a back porch in Ahwatukee Foothills. The owner, Brian Wharton, was surprised by SRP with a gift basket, balloons and a visit from local media to capture the event.

“It’s a little overwhelming,” Wharton said. “That’s an awful lot of refrigerators. I’m happy to be anywhere in the lineup, but 50,000 is a good mile stone for the recycling program.”

Wharton said recycling his old fridge was easy to do, thanks to SRP’s recycling program. Customers can go online to or call (602) 236-4225 and schedule a pick-up time and they are awarded with a $50 credit on their bill or by check.

“Since the program started we have recycled 50,000 appliances and that’s the equivalent of enough energy to power more than 10,000 homes for a year,” said Cindy Marzofka, manager of program marketing and corporate events for SRP. “It is a significant impact. It shows the difference individual customers can have by making that decision to take a simple step, whether it’s recycling an old appliance or taking some other step toward saving energy or participating in one of our programs.”

The program began in 2008 and SRP has collected an average of 850 old refrigerators per month for five years. If stretched end-to-end the 50,000 appliances would be enough to line both sides of the road from Sun Devil Stadium to University of Phoenix Stadium. Recycling the appliances reduced carbon-dioxide emissions equal to taking more than 68,000 cars off the road for one year, according to SRP.

Ninety-five percent of the appliances are recycled into other uses and kept out of landfills.

To learn more or to schedule a free pickup, visit or call (602) 236-4225.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or

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