January 22, 2004 at 1:55 p.m.

New electronics disposal site sanctioned by county; open to residents at a subsidized drop-off fee

New electronics disposal site sanctioned by county; open to residents at a subsidized drop-off fee
New electronics disposal site sanctioned by county; open to residents at a subsidized drop-off fee

Jenny and Dick Johnson’s enterprise on Highway 30 just south of Harris has been selected as the official site for recycling electronic items in Chisago County.

Recycling for Wildlife is going to serve as a transfer station where you’ll leave your old electronics for a small fee, with actual handling costs being underwritten by county government.

Recycling for Wildlife will store the obsolete items until there’s a semi trailer load, and then contract with a processing firm, 5R Processors, Ltd. of Glen Flora, Wisconsin to take them away, break them down and reclaim the hazardous materials.

Up until the Johnsons came along the county disposed of hazardous electronic components in a twice-yearly event that wasn’t always convenient or cost effective.

Chisago County Recycling Coordinator Gary Noren says having every Saturday continuing disposal, at an affordable price, will help keep old VCRs, computer monitors, keyboards and other items out of the garbage stream.

Why do we not want to throw these in the landfill?

Noren explained that the switches and relays contain mercury, there are PCBs in televisions and computers manufactured before the 1980s, printed circuit boards contain lead, chromium and cadmium and the “permanent” batteries in many electronics are hazardous.

Plus, if you have working electronics that you simply are sick of storing in your closet, basement or garage-- the Johnsons will set those aside and the re-claiming firm will fix-up the units and re-market them at little charge to charities.

The Chisago County Board approved the new electronics disposal system funded this year by the Waste Management Fee. January 17 was the first day for the disposal.

If you tried to dispose of an old computer monitor, CPU, keyboard and mouse somewhere else it would probably run you about $20 plus.

Chisago County residents who use Recycling for Wildlife will pay $10 for disposing that four-piece package. Other disposal fees are $5 for an old FAX, $5 for a laptop, and $10 for an obsolete copier.

Jenny Johnson explained that the name of the business--Recycling for Wildlife-- comes by way of the aluminum can division. All the aluminum proceeds are donated to the county Audubon Chapter. The company is not a non-profit.

Recycling for Wildlife opened in April 2003.

It’s housed in a red, farm outbuilding located alongside the east edge of the highway, behind a line of trees. The site is one-half mile south of the Harris business district.

Dick and Jenny Johnson own a good stretch of the land abutting the highway south of Harris and they still farm. Dick is a lifelong resident and Jenny moved here from south of the Twin Cities, when she married Dick six years ago.

They also sell kiln dried wood shavings for animal bedding and they take appliances, scrap metal and an assortment of goods.

If Saturday doesn’t work for you, call them at 651-674-7268 for an appointment.

Jenny Johnson said county residents should take advantage of this program because you never know, there might be a different need funded with the money come next year.


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