Post Christmas recycling kicks into high gear - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Post Christmas recycling kicks into high gear

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Workers take apart copper wiring inside of a television at Recycletronics. Workers take apart copper wiring inside of a television at Recycletronics.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -

It's that time of year when people get a lot of new electronics for Christmas.

So if you're planning to kick your old TV set to the curb after getting a new one for Christmas in Sioux City, don't expect it to go anywhere fast.  Garbage collectors in Sioux City generally don't pick them up. 

Aaron Rochester, President Recycletronics, says you need to dispose of electronics properly because some products contain toxic materials.

"Anytime you get lead or mercury that leaks into a water source or it pollutes the ground, it ends up damaging the soil, or for example poison you, if it gets into the water or aquifer," Rochester said.

And then there are those things that aren't actually that bad.  Outdated computers which otherwise would be a giant paperweight, actually have precious metals inside. Some actually have processors made out of gold.  Not exactly solid gold that you can bring to the jewelry store, but that's why Recycletronics breaks down the electronics and sorts the parts, so they can all be turned into something else.

"They'll start out as a plastic that's reformed into other plastic, the circuit board will eventually end up into copper, everything gets recycled into everything else," Jess Edwards a foreman at the company said.

Recycletronics primarily contracts with companies who pay to have their electronic waste broken down and disposed of properly.

An added bonus, unlike other businesses in Sioux City, this one is a non-profit which seeks out veterans, especially those who are disabled.

"Well I think everybody needs a job you know that's obviously very important, disabled vets a lot of times, because of their injuries have a hard time keeping a normal job, so a lot of our guys that have back injuries or burns, they are able to take time off of work, and they don't get penalized for going to the VA," Rochester said.

Jess Edwards is one of those veterans who's been at the company for 2 years. He served in the Air Force and then worked as a mechanic for many years before he came to Recycletronics. He says the camaraderie of veterans at this job, makes him feel very at home.

"I love working here, it's great.  Electronics don't scare me no more, or tearing them apart, I love tearing them apart.  It's great," said Edwards.

For now, the business has yet to show any signs of slowing down, as more electronics are manufactured to replace old ones. Rochester says, Recycletronics is seeing the kind of growth that has warranted expansion.

The company started in 2010, has grown from 7 to 22 employees, and moved to a new larger facility in 2012 .

"There's always going to be stuff that has to get thrown out, and there has to be an environmental way to do it, and I don't know if we're recession proof, but I'd say that right now, we're certainly getting plenty of material," Rochester said.

Recycletronics has moved.  The new address is 3313 Northbrook Drive, just south of 28th Street.  Items like TVs are 5 to 10 dollars to process, depending on size, and most small items are free.

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