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Trash To Treasure

April 17, 2012, 7:16 AM by Austin Hoffman

Trash To Treasure

One man's trash is another man's treasure.  With projects N.I.C.E. and K.E.E.P. currently under way in Sioux Falls, some people are finding treasures of their own right on the side of the road.     

"Just going up one and down the other looking for mainly, there's a lot of things but just aluminum and copper and brass maybe," Paul Hager said.

Hager is what some may call a picker. And while this is his first time taking the dive in another man's trash, he says it's all for a good reason.

“I'll just recycle it and that's my real motivation. I can make some money in doing this but I'm a big advocate of recycling. I do construction work normally and I try to recycle all of the materials from my work sites. It's just a matter of being kind to the earth," Hager said.

He actually got the idea when he was dropping off other recyclable materials a few days ago.

"Thought, 'hey that's a good idea.' So, I decided to give it a try," Hager said.

He tests any questionable material with a magnet to see if it's unwanted steel or prized aluminum.

“Like this door is older and it might be steel, and it is. These could either be steel or not, these are all steel so I’m not interested. There’s other guys that will come and pick up steel, for the amount of work it is, I don't bother," Hager said.

Hager isn't the only one with a mission on his mind. Around nearly every corner you can find the tail end of a pick-up piled high, and of course, having a good time while doing it.

"I like being out it in the woods and hunting. That might be some wire we want.  But whether you're hunting for mushrooms or deer or something like this, it's kind of an adventure. That's how I look at it. Instead of going to the mall I just go through people's junk," Hager said.

The City of Sioux Falls will eventually come around and pick up the piles and take them to the landfill.

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