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Got An Old Cell Phone? Recycle It At The State Fair

FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) -- It's not just all about eating at the Minnesota State Fair.

There are also ways you can help the environment and maybe de-clutter some space at home.

WCCO's Nina Moini shows us what's new at the Eco Experience this year.

You may have some old cell phones stored in a drawer at home. New this year at the fair, you can safely recycle those through a unique Minnesota non-profit.

Bonnie Bauer from Eden Prairie just dumped her iPhone4.

"Didn't want to throw it in the garbage. Just looking for a place to get rid of it," Bauer said.

"We are a recycling and refurbishing non-profit based here in the Twin Cities," Amanda LaGrange of Tech Dump said.

Amanda LaGrange is the CEO of Tech Dump, a Minnesota non-profit that's collecting your old cell phones, cables and cords.

"Statistics show only 11 percent are being recycled so there's stockpiling and a lot of just dropping it in trash bin," LaGrange said.

LaGrange is close to gathering one ton of these types of materials over the summer.

"There's rare Earth metals that can be reclaimed and turned into your next iPhone," LaGrange said.

For about a decade, the Eco Experience at the State Fair has given Minnesotans tools to treat the environment kindly.

"We are actually one of fair's most popular exhibits. We get 250,000 people," Tim Farman said.

Tim Farman of the Minnesota Pollition Control Agency says there are plenty of tips for saving energy and money at the Eco Experience.

At the new water bar, fair-goers can taste test tap water from different parts of the state.

"Just letting folks know this is alternative to buying water bottles, drinking safe, healthy water," Farman said.

From complicated electronics to the simplest sip of water, the Eco Experience is designed to improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans.

"It's just great to see how excited people are to come over to the Eco Experience," Farman said.

You can also dump electronics at their company sites in St. Paul and Golden Valley. The Eco Experience is open every day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. It's in the Progress Center on the north side of Randall Avenue at Cosgrove Street.

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