Recycle your appliances, trade in that old fridge

By Antonio De Jesús Aguado

Have you ever wondered what to do with microwaves, coffeemakers, computers, batteries, light bulbs, washing machines and dryers, or even blenders that no longer function? Throwing smaller items in the trash or selling appliances for parts are not the best options. In Celaya, a company named ECOFRIGO breaks down unwanted appliances following federal ecological guidelines, and the company has now opened a recycling center (centro de acopio) in San Miguel de Allende. The company’s main activity is the dismantling of refrigerators, and it processes hundreds of them every day, extracting coolant and recycling all the parts. You might not think that an old refrigerator door could be useful, but the director of the company told Atención that the last year they gave out more than 21,000 refrigerator doors to families with low incomes, who used them as windows or doors in their houses. They also make good tables, such as the ones in the ECOFRIGO offices; their chalkboards, too, are made of recycled doors. A company representative said that if a nonprofit organization is interested in getting doors, all they need to do is contact them.

Every day ECOFRIGO receives refrigerators from their clients or from the federal government, which are obtained through the program “Cambia tu viejo por uno Nuevo” (change your old one for a new one). When the refrigerators arrive at the company, the gases are first extracted, then the dismantling starts. Lamps, plastic, aluminum, copper and plastic, all the functional material that can be reused, is recycled to help protect the environment.
Last week, ECOFRIGO opened a recycling center in the city, located on Salidad a Celaya 85 in Seguros Quálitas. It is open Monday through Friday from 9am to 6:30pm. They accept microwave ovens, refrigerators, washing machines and dryers, computers, printers, televisions, cell phones and chargers, batteries, light bulbs, acetone bottles and paint containers.

Change your old fridge for a new one If you want to trade in your old refrigerator, you can make use of the Program of Substitution of Appliances for Energy Saving, from the federal government and the Secretariat of Energy. Through this program refrigerators older than 10 years are replaced with new, more efficient ones. A subsidy is also given by the government. In San Miguel, Coppel is the only store that has this program. It is located at Insurgentes 46 and open Monday through Friday from 10am to 8:30pm. The employees will ask for general information about the old refrigerator such as make, model and size, and proof of address (e.g., a power or water bill). In the store, the value of the used refrigerator will be assessed. If the refrigerator, for instance, is valued at 2,000 pesos and the one the client wants to buy costs 5,000 pesos, then the subsidy will be 2,000 pesos and the client pays just 3,000 pesos for the new one.

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