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Free Flat Screens

November 29, 2012, 9:50 PM by Angela Kennecke

Free Flat Screens

Sioux Falls' new electronics recycling program is seeing amazing success and it's also allowing some folks to upgrade their TVs or computers. 

Recycled paint goes flying off the shelves in the new “reuse room" in the city's green building known as the Environmental Center.  Paint that can run anywhere from $30 to $50 a gallon is free. 

"We get great products brought in here, some full gallons of paint that have never been used," Sioux Falls Environmental Manager Bob Kappel said.

On the heels of the household waste program now comes electronic recycling.

"Two TVs; the old analog ones. I bought a couple of new flat screens," Ron Voeller said.

Old analog TVs and other unwanted electronics are packed into more than a semi load a week and shipped off to a Wisconsin recycler.  But the best stuff ends up here in the reuse room. 

"We test out electronics, if they are high quality like flat screen TVs, blue ray players, and DVD players and if they’re good quality we bring them into reuse room and let public take for free,” Kappel said.

In the last seven weeks here in the reuse room, they've given away everything from flat screen computer monitors to '32, even ‘42 high definition TVs.

"Some of the reasons we hear are almost kind of funny. They've increased the size of the TV or they went to higher quality of TV and even one person came in and said they lost remote and so they bought a new TV with a new remote," Kappel said.

The best stuff is given away in a weekly drawing. This week Mike Kasdorf is going home with a new flat screen monitor for this computer. 

"It's better than my old square box monitor," Kasdorf said.

Some 125 people sign up each week for the drawing.

"A one in 120, it's better than winning the Powerball, much better than winning the Powerball," Kappel said.

And with odds like that, it's a sure bet that visits to this recycling center are bound to go up. 

The city of Sioux Falls will keep 1.3 million pounds of electronics out of the landfill this year alone.  Sioux Falls is recycling two to three times more than the national average. 

For a list of hours of the Environmental Center take this link.

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