According to the company, over 95% of the appliance is properly destroyed and recycled, which prevents it from going into a landfill. The program started in May 2009 and is administered by Appliance Recycling Centers of America. It will now run until December 31, 2010.

Kelsey Burich, program manager of Xcel Energy, said: “Our goal is to improve energy efficiency in our service territory and make it really easy for customers to get rid of their old appliances. The cheapest energy out there is the energy we don’t have to produce. Using less helps all of us lower our bills and put money back in our pockets.”

The $35 recycling incentive is automatically mailed to the customer within three to four weeks after pick up, the company said.

In addition, the state of Minnesota will begin offering an appliance rebate program in March of 2010, which offers a $200 rebate on Energy Star qualifying refrigerators. Old refrigerators must be properly recycled in order to receive the state’s rebate.