Minnesota’s electronics recycling program needs an update, experts say.



Inside a St. Paul warehouse, people in neon green vests and safety glasses spend their days carefully taking apart old computers, harvesting valuable components and metals to be separated, broken down, and resold. 

The Repowered electronics recycling building is not your standard dump. The warehouse on Vandalia Street is full of boxes containing not only old laptops and tablets, but televisions, game consoles, car key fobs, and keyboards. 

Repowered, an electronics recycling nonprofit formerly known as Tech Dump and Tech Discounts, is a unique player in the electronic waste space. The nonprofit is committed to refurbishing and recycling as much as possible of the roughly 3 million pounds of electronic waste that come through its doors each year, and offers employment opportunities for Minnnesotans coming out of prison. 

In 2022, Repowered became the official electronics recycling collector for Ramsey County, and allows county residents to drop off electronic waste for free. That’s a rarity in Minnesota, where most counties charge collection fees for old televisions, computers, and other electronic goods. 

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