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Golden Valley nonprofit starts electronic refurbishing business
For five years, the nonprofit Tech Dump in Golden Valley has been a go–to for those wanting to unload unwanted computers, cell phones and other electronic gadgets that were once the latest and greatest. Now, the electronics recycling organization is launching a new retail business, Tech Discounts, focused on selling refurbished electronics.

"Last year we processed about five million pounds of electronics," said Amanda LaGrange, Tech Dump CEO. "What we frequently see is our business customers are updating their inventory, they're just on a three year cycle and that [laptop] may still have 3 to 4 years left on it."

For older electronics, Tech Dump has always stripped down the gadget, recycled and sold the metal parts, and used the proceeds to fund its mission of hiring and training adults who face barriers to employment. Over the last year however, revenue has dropped by about 30% due to the drop in commodity prices.

"It's really difficult right now for the electronics industry with such low commodity values for steel, plastic, and copper," said LaGrange.

It's why Tech Dump is launching the new Tech Discounts retail business and selling refurbished electronics that can save consumers 50% to 75% from the cost of buying new.

"These have had the hard-drives removed, wiped, updated, everything tested and now they're green light, ready to go, ready for sale," said LaGrange pointing to a row of Dell computers, updated with Windows 7 that start at $99.

From flat panel monitors that start at $25 to flat screen LCD televisions and tablets and cell phones, Tech Discounts will offer a more affordable alternative for consumers that don't necessarily need today's hottest new gadget.
 
Technician Carl Wilcoxon is working on an older Apple laptop, an '08 Macbook. He's testing it and upgrading the memory, and he knows for someone this device will still have use.

"A lot of small schools will buy a lot of stuff from us," said Wilcoxon.

For Tech Dump, this new refurbishing and repair business venture is yet another way to support their mission while also helping to make gadgets go a little longer.

"We're really giving electronics a longer life span," said LaGrange.

Tech Discounts is celebrating its grand opening in Golden Valley April 23 starting at 9AM at 825 Boone Avenue North.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
arenslo@twelve.tv
Twitter: @alexrenslo

April 11, 2016


 

 
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