Good weekend to get rid of the trash
From hard-to-dispose-of electronics to common litter, volunteers got rid of it
By Bob Freund
It was a tossing weekend for thousands of southeastern Minnesota consumers. And it was a pickup week for many volunteers who combed Rochester’s streets.
More than 6,700 cars, trucks and vans lined up at Apache Mall on Friday and Saturday to throw out used electronics equipment at a free, drive-through collection by Waste Management Inc., company spokeswoman Julie Ketchum said.
Consumers handed off computers, printers, videocassette recorders, televisions and other electronics to workers for recycling.
"It was a huge success for us," said Geno Wente, manager of the refuse company’s Rochester branch. The collection was the largest in Minnesota outside the Twin Cities metro area so far, he and Ketchum said. "Our estimate ... is a half-million pounds for the two days," Ketchum said. Actually, "we’re thinking well over a half-million pounds."
Also sponsoring the collection were IBM Corp. and Sony Electronics. Rochester Service Co. and Apache Mall also provided on-site help.
Cars and trucks waited in long lines on both days, spilling out of the mall onto access streets on Saturday. "The average wait for a car was about 30 minutes (on Saturday)," Wente said. On Friday, the wait was about 15 minutes.
The electronics was collected and stacked on large pallets. The equipment will go to Waste Management’s recycling site in Minneapolis, where it will be broken into components such as glass, metals and casings for recycling, Ketchum said.
Last week’s Litter Bit Better collection also took large amounts of trash off the streets. Volunteers citywide picked up an estimated eight tons of trash for disposal, as well as about 1,600 pounds for recycling, Wente said.