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Recycling effort halted

Electronic recyclers got more than they could handle during the three-day effort at the Mall of America. People could drop off old TVs and computers to be recycled for free, and, according to the Pioneer Press, over 5,000 cars brought “1 million pounds of old electronics� on the first day.

When the collection ended on Friday, dated electronics had filled 86 trucks, reported the Star Tribune. Twenty cars were already in line to recycle one hour before the collection began on that second-day; that afternoon, other cars would be turned away.

A 2006 law prohibits Minnesotans from throwing the cathode ray tubes from both TVs and computers in with the trash, and earlier this year another law “requires electronics manufacturers to collect and recycle 60 percent by weight of what they sold the previous year,� said Garth Hickle, product stewardship team leader for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

With the new federal communications law of February 2009, there will be no more analog signals for TVs. This means that consumers will have to invest in cable or satellite TV, a digital converter or a brand new TV.

Old TVs can be recycled at collection spots throughout the state, but there can be a charge. Hennepin County has free drop-off centers in Brooklyn Park and Bloomington, while Minneapolis has free curbside pick-ups, according to Hickle.