The corner of Brenner Recycling property at South Laurel and Buttonwood streets was turned into a recycling drive-thru Saturday as people from 11 municipalities brought electronic devices they wanted to dispose of.
Hazleton Mayor Joe Yannuzzi said it didn’t take long for the first-time regional recycling event to exceed what had been just a city pickup for two years.
“We were here from 8:30,” Yannuzzi said. “There has been a nice, steady flow. By 10 o’clock, we surpassed last year” in the number of items collected.
People could have brought televisions, small appliances and stereos, large appliances, scrap metal, auto batteries, air conditioners, refrigerators, computers and printers, as well as computer mice and keyboards.
“They brought a lot of TVs,” Yannuzzi said. “Two out of three people had TVs. People with monitors we are telling to go to Staples, because it is free. We have to charge.”
People were being charged $20 per TV if it was less than 42 inches and $50 if it was bigger.
“We had a lady bring in a 55-inch TV, with a projector, the old kind,” Yannuzzi said.
He and Jason Brenner, the fourth generation of the Brenner family in the business, agreed people from outside the city used the drop-off.
“We got a lot of calls in the office from people out of town who wanted their stuff picked up,” Yannuzzi said. “That means they are coming here.”
“We’ve seen folks from all the municipalities, definitely Butler (Township), Freeland, Sugarloaf (Township),” Brenner said. “We’re definitely extended beyond the city limits.”
Yannuzzi said students from the Keystone Job Corps Center in Drums provided pickup service for those who could not drop off their recyclables on Saturday.
“We had a lot of help from the Job Corps,” he said. “People who were handicapped or elderly made arrangements to have the Job Corps pick up. They picked up 30 televisions and dropped them off Thursday and Friday.”
For the most part, Brenner said people followed the rules and didn’t bring anything they were not supposed to.
“We had a couple of turntables, older stuff, come in,” Brenner said. “A couple of folks tried to bring air conditioners and refrigerators that didn’t have the refrigerant removed. We just can’t handle that kind of material here. The big thing is making sure TVs and other items that are a nuisance to get rid of don’t end up on city streets or in the woods.”
As the TVs came in, the nine employees Brenner’s dedicated to the collection put them on pallets and shrink-wrapped them together. The skids were placed right on semi-trailers lined up for the assignment.
“We will take it to Philadelphia to an e-recycler who is fully certified,” Brenner said. “Any data media, computers and hard drives, get shredded or destroyed. From there, they will sell it to another downstream processor, who will separate the metals out and turn it into new boards. They will be getting down to virgin materials, which can be used for whatever is needed.”
Brenner said the event was successful because it was advertised effectively.
“I think we did a great job of getting the message out, advertising well and making sure people knew the event was going on,” Brenner said. “We’re really proud everyone from the area is working together to make this event a great success. The weather could not be better. We’ve had a real good flow. It’s been a good day.”
Yannuzzi praised Brenner for their organization.
“The way this is organized Brenner’s did an outstanding job,” Yannuzzi said. “The first two years it was good, but today, it was exceptional. We had no traffic jams like we did in years before, Everything went well.”