Thousands jam recycling eventby Phil Picardi, Minnesota Public Radio,
Bob Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The popularity of a free electronics recycling collection at the Mall of America on Thursday appears to have taken organizers by surprise.
Thousands of carloads of used equipment jammed the site, with traffic backed up as far as I-494 at one point.
Organizers are calling the event the Great Minnesota eCycling event.
Eagan-based Materials Processing Corporation partnered with the Mall of America on the three-day effort. The site is accepting old computers, televisions, cell phones and other electronic waste free of charge. Some electronics contain environmental hazards, and pitching them in the trash is prohibited.
The company says it will recycle components of the electronic gear, and a percentage of the items will be donated to "third world and inner city programs." MPC says it's the biggest free recycling event of its kind in the nation.
Electronics can be dropped off from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Saturday in the parking lot north of the mall near IKEA.
Items accepted include: Computers, monitors, hard drives, keyboards, TVs, VCRs/DVD players, phones, cell phones, cables, adaptors, steroes, and small appliances (microwaves, toasters, etc.)
Items not accepted are: Large appliances (stoves, dishwashers, etc.), anything with liquid material (such as refrigerators), and fluorescent bulbs.
Phil Picardi is a newscaster for MPR News, and occasionally fills in as Morning Edition host when Cathy Wurzer is away.