Union Recycling Event

Despite chilling rain, an electronics recycling event in Union did better than expected.

While the city won’t know how many tons of used electronics were brought in for a couple weeks, 152 cars went through the line Saturday, Nov. 14, at the city’s maintenance shed. Assistant City Administrator James Schmieder said the event, which Union holds in conjunction with the Midwest Recycling Center (MRC), normally has between 105 and 110 cars drop items off. “So this was a nice uptick,” he said.

In addition, four bins full of nonperishable food, valued at $605, were brought in for local food pantries, which was double the amount at past recycling events. The assistance was crucial since the Boy Scouts canceled its Scouting for Food pickup, and food drives will instead be held at local stores, schools and government buildings.

The city typically holds two recycling events annually but the spring event was canceled as the coronavirus pandemic was starting. The spring event is held on Friday to allow businesses not open on Saturdays to recycle, while the fall event is aimed more at families home on Saturdays.

The turnout was especially strong, considering more than an inch of rain fell Saturday.

“I thought the rain and cold weather were going to keep people away,” Schmieder said. “It was a really nice turnout.”

By 11 a.m., MRC workers had packed several pallets full of computer equipment, televisions and other electronics and loaded them onto semitrucks. Schmieder said MRC looks for anything of value in the electronics, like copper, and then recycles the other items for parts.

MRC has a “zero landfill policy” for items it collects, according to its website. The company can also provide documentation to show items are properly recycled and data is erased.

“They’ve been a really good partner to work with,” Schmieder said.

While most items were free to recycle, some electronics such as air conditioners and old projection televisions had a cost to dispose of them.

The city has the recycling events primarily as a service to the community. “It helps keep things out of the landfill,” he said.“Of course, we like to help the food bank with donations.”

Other food collection events will be held during the week, including Immaculate Conception School’s event with the Boy Scouts from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Donations also can be dropped off at Fricks Market, Fink’s ALPS, city hall and the Scenic Regional Library Union branch.